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Live! Armaan Kohli arrested from Bigg Boss set

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December 16, 2013

23:46  Armaan Kohli arrested from Bigg Boss set:  Just In: Actor Armaan Kohli has been arrested from the Bigg Boss 7 following a complaint by former house mate Sofia Hayat

She has claimed that she was manhandled by Kohli in the Bigg Boss house during the show.

Sofia was eliminated from the show last week. Sofia had earlier too told Salman she was upset and hurt as she had never expected to be subjected to such humiliation during her stay in the house. 

"Armaan attacked me and it was difficult for me to combat someone as tall as him. He said I should fix my face and that I'm fat. Armaan's behaviour was disgusting. It was a disturbing moment for me," she had said.
23:15  MGR temple outside Madras HC to be demolished:  
Clearing the decks for Chennai corporation to remove a temple built at the court entrance in memory of former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, the Madras High Court today said courts cannot "tolerate construction of religious structures by encroaching public road." 

"Courts are concerned with removal of encroachments on the public road and it is no matter whether it is Temple, Islamic Shrine or Church," a Division Bench, comprising Justice Sathish K Agnihotri and Justice K K Sasidharan, said in its order, dismissing a petition filed by Kantha Srinivasan, a trustee of Needhi Karumariamman Temple near the high court main entrance. 

"The court cannot tolerate construction of religious building by encroaching public road. Those who want to establish Temple, Church or Shrine must locate it in private lands. Public Road is for people and it is not for doing business or to construct religious structures," it said. 

It rejected the contention that the temple in memory of MGR was in existence for the past 27 years. 

The petition had sought to forbear Chennai Corporation from in any way "interfering" with the temple.
23:13  Russia moves missiles closer to Europe border:  
Russia has moved nuclear-capable Iskander missiles closer to Europe's borders in response to the US-led deployment of a disputed air defence shield, the defence ministry said today.

The announcement is almost certain to irritate the former Communist states of Eastern Europe and add another layer to the tensions in Moscow's fraught relations with Washington. 

The advanced version of the Russian missile has a range of 500 kilometres (310 miles) and could potentially be used to take out ground-based radar and interceptors of the new NATO shield.

Germany's Bild newspaper first reported over the weekend that Russia had deployed about 10 Iskander systems in its Kaliningrad exclave, wedged between Poland and Lithuania, at some point over the past 12 months. 

A top Russian defence official said in response to the report that several Iskander batteries had been stationed in Russia's Western Military District -- a region that includes the exclave and also borders the European Union's three Baltic nations that were once a part of the USSR. 
23:11  RSS toes Rajnath line on homosexuality issue:  
RSS today toed the line taken by BJP President Rajnath Singh in support of the Supreme Court judgement against homosexuality but maintained that the issue can be debated by the political parties. 

"(Section) 377 (of IPC) is about unnatural relationship. There can be a debate over the Section as proposed by BJP," RSS leader Ram Madhav said on Twitter. 

Earlier, BJP and RSS had been silent about their stand on the issue till Singh said yesterday that homosexuality is unnatural. 

"If an all-party meeting is called, we will support Section 377 as we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act. We cannot support it," Singh said. 

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh had yesterday demanded that RSS should make its stand clear on the Supreme Court verdict supporting Section 377 of IPC.
21:12  Court orders Adnan Sami to vacate duplex flat for wife:  
In a setback to singer Adnan Sami, the Bombay High Court today asked him and his relatives to vacate the duplex flats in a multi-tower building in posh Lokhandwala complex area of suburban Andheri within two months to facilitate the entry of his divorced wife Sabah Galadari.

Adnan currently stays with his new wife Roya Farabi in five flats combined into duplex flats on the 13th and 14th floor at Oberoi Sky Garden. It is these flats which the Court has asked him and his relatives to vacate in favour of Sabah. 

Besides these flats, Adnan also has three more flats on the 12th floor in the same building in which no one resides at present. He can now move into these flats, sources said. 

A division bench of the High Court, allowing Sabah's appeal against the order of a single bench, today said it was not going into the merits of the matrimonial dispute between the couple but was directing the singer to remove himself and his relatives from the duplex houses which Sabah claimed was her matrimonial home and gifted to her by Adnan.
21:07  CBI arrests four for 2012 Assam riots:  
The CBI has arrested four persons in connection with an incident during the 2012 ethnic violence between the Bodos and minorities in Assam in which over 100 people were killed and thousands displaced. 

CBI sources said four persons have been arrested in connection with the riots in Karigaon area of Kokrajhar district but refused to give their identity. 

The agency team led by a DIG-level officer carried out searches during its probe early this month during which it got number of leads on the alleged perpetrators of the riots. 

The sources said the situation on ground level was still very tense and any information about the arrest of persons from a particular community could spark violence hence the officers have to be very cautious. 

They said the investigating officers move under police patrol because of the tense situation in the area.
21:07  AI Dreamliner fails to show up; passengers stuck for 10 hours:  
Passengers had a harrowing time on Sunday after their Air India flight to Kolkata from New Delhi was delayed by almost 10 hours due to non-availability of a Dreamliner aircraft. 

The irate passengers staged a protest at the Air India counter at Delhi airport on Sunday. 

The flight, slated at 2.20 PM, left around midnight last night after the aircraft was made available and a fresh set of cockpit and cabin crew mobilised to replace the earlier ones whose flight duty time limitation (FDTL) had expired, an Air India official said.

Air India has 10 Dreamliner planes and one of these operates on Delhi-Kolkata route. But currently, the airline has only eight aircraft at its disposal as two planes are in Mumbai for upgrade of software and hardware, after a series of problems dogged them. 

Due to this, no Dreamliner was available. We rescheduled the flight to 7.30 PM, but by then the flight duty time of the cabin and cockpit crew came to an end, the official said.

"We had to find replacement crew and the flight was further delayed and took off around midnight," the official said.
20:26  Cong's Tamil Nadu bigwigs not in mood to contest LS polls?:  

Our Delhi correspondent reports: Senior Congress ministers from Tamil Nadu may decide not to contest Lok Sabha polls in 2014 as they are apprehensive of big loss since both DMK and AIADMK have washed off their hands from the party, AIADMK leader V Maitreyan reportedly told some his colleagues in Parliament on Monday.  


The DMK having ended its alliance with Congress in Tamil Nadu, the speculation is that G K Vasan, Jayanthi Natarajan, P Chidambaram and Sudharshan Nachiappan may not contest at all.

20:19  Cabinet clears Communal Violence Bill:  Sources tell PTI that the Communal Violence Bill has been cleared by the Union Cabinet.
20:12  Harvard Univ evacuates 4 buildings over reports of explosives:  

Harvard University has evacuated four buildings on campus Monday over unconfirmed reports of explosives, reports.  


More details awaited

19:58  Faces of Nehru, Patel, JP covered inside Parliament!:  

Our Correspondent in New Delhi: The faces of life size statues of Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Jayaprakash Narain and Maulana Abul Kalam inside the Parliament Azad were seen covered on Monday.


The Lok Sabha secretariat organised a function on Monday in Cenral Hall to award the Best Parliamentarians by President of India. However, the contractors who put up the pandal did not realise that the faces of gigantic leaders of Indian democracy would be covered up.  


"What a shame to our national leaders,' a BJP MP remarked as he was on way from Main Gate 1 to the Central Hall of Parliament.   In fact few Congress and BJP MPs were to raise this in Zero Hour of Parliament -- but the function was cancelled due to the death of Union minister Ola and the Lok Sabha was adjourned as a mark of respect.

19:47  Naidu's advice to Seemandhra Cong MPs:  

Our Correspondent in Delhi: BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu was giving 'ideas' to Seemaandhra Congress MPs Aruna Kumar, Panapakkam Lakshmi and Sabbam Hari in Parliament on Monday.  


They had discussed bifurcation issue for more than one hour -- while senior Congress Union ministers watched this new alliance taking shape.   The BJP is said to be keen to give two Congress MPs tickets to fight as independents in the Seemandhra region and Narendra Modi would canvass votes for them.

18:47  Congress condemns AK Gangulys defiance to stay on as WBHRC chairman:  Union Law and Justice Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said Justice AK Ganguly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a law intern, should resign voluntarily from the chairmanship of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, and added that he would not like to see the ignominy of a removal procedure being inflicted on the latter.

"I have no doubt about this. I think in the light of the latest revelations of the Solicitor General, I think it is time for him to voluntarily submit his resignation. This is an exceptionally serious matter," Sibal said in response to a question regarding Justice AK Ganguly resigning voluntarily.
18:34  NIA, cops got signatures on blank papers: 26/11 mastermind Jundal:  Abu Jundal, suspected Lashkar-e- Taiba's (LeT) terrorist and one of the masterminds of 26/11 attacks, today claimed before a Delhi court that the NIA and Maharashtra Police had forced him to sign some documents and blank papers.

Jundal, who is also known as Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, told this to District Judge I S Mehta after he was produced through video conferencing from Mumbai's Arthur Road jail, where he is presently lodged, in connection with an alleged conspiracy to launch terror strikes in the country, court sources said.

They said court has fixed the matter for further hearing on January 18.

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) supplied the copy of charge sheet filed against Jundal to his counsel M S Khan.

Jundal was chargesheeted by NIA for offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly attempting to recruit persons through Internet for joining banned outfit LeT and carrying out terror activities in India.
18:25  Forget mouse, Lokpal Bill can ensnare even a lion: Anna snubs Kejriwal again:   In a sharp rebuff to Arvind Kejriwal's criticism that the Lokpal Bill in its present form was incapable of sending to jail even a mouse, Anna Hazare today said the legislation was good enough to ensnare a lion.

"You are talking about mouse. I feel the Bill has provisions to trap even a lion," Hazare, whose indefinite hunger strike to press for passage of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament entered the seventh day today, said.

Hazare's snub to Kejriwal came on a day government reaffirmed its commitment to passing the bill, saying it was its "highest priority" and that it was prepared to even extend the Winter Session of Parliament for that.

Pic: Those were the days: Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare in better times
18:17  Mandatory and immediate reading for the VHPDevdutt Patnaik on whether homosexuality existed in ancient India?
18:16  Homosexuality is an imported disease: VHP:   Terming as "historic" the Supreme Court decision upholding legal provision against same sex relations, VHP today said homosexuality was an "imported disease" which needed treatment.

In a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad said government should treat the spread of the "imported disease" by putting a complete ban on liquor and making moral education mandatory.

Ridiculing the widespread criticism of the SC order which had struck down a Delhi High Court order decriminalising gay sex, the right-wing organisation said homosexuality was "against Indian culture and values".

BJP has also favoured the verdict upholding Section 377 of the IPC, saying it would not support any "un-natural act".

The Supreme Court had last week set aside the landmark High Court judgement decriminalising gay sex and threw the ball in Parliament's court for amending law.
18:13  AAP to organise 'broom yatra' in Gujarat over corruption issue:   The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today said that as part of its 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, it will launch a "broom yatra" in Gujarat to "expose state government's corruption".

"The broom yatra will be launched on January 26. During the yatra, we will expose the Gujarat government's corrupt practices. We aim to clean the political filth in the state," member of AAP national executive committee, Dinesh Vaghela said.

The decision to organise the yatra was taken during AAP's two-day state executive meet, which ended in Ahmedabad yesterday.
18:12  Why Arvind Kejriwal's 18 demands to Congress and BJP are impractical :  Their campaign caught popular imagination in a manner that shocked Delhi's political grandees. Their post-poll tactic - asking BJP, Congress to agree to their demands before they form a minority government - has been equally unconventional.

But now that Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is thinking whether or not to rule Delhi, a reality check on their declared philosophy of governance is useful.  Read
17:55  What AAP wants:  The issues mentioned by Arvind Kejriwal in the letters to the Congress and BJP include passing of the Janlokpal bill by December 29, empowering of mohalla sabhas to spend money on development works, audit of power discoms and eliminating the water mafia in Delhi. Kejriwal said AAP would ask for the people's opinion on the parties' by conducting mohalla sabhas (colony-level meetings).
17:48  Live! Lt Gov recommends President's rule for Delhi, Cong denies 'unconditional' support:   The Congress now says it never offered unconditional support to AAP.  Shakeel Ahmed, Congress's Delhi in-charge has replied to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal's 18 demands for government formation, saying the party has always maintained that it would only offer outside support.

Meanwhile, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs saying he has recommended President's rule in Delhi and that the Delhi assembly be kept in suspended animation.

Congress MLA Haroon Yusuf said AAP owed to their voters to form the government in Delhi. "They are shunning responsibility. They wrote a letter to Congress, tomorrow they will write one to the UN," he added.

Shakeel Ahmed added that 16 of the 18 issues can be implemented by Delhi government without coming to Parliament or Assembly.
17:46  Shobhaa De: 16th December. The day faith, hope and confidence died for the women of India.
17:16  Modi most eligible for PM's post: Badal:  Terming senior BJP leader Narendra Modi as the most eligible person for the post of the Prime Minister, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Congress to declare its candidate for the top job ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

In the event of formation of an NDA government at the Centre under Modi's leadership after the Lok Sabha polls, "a new era of unprecedented development and prosperity will usher in Punjab", he said.

Modi is the most eligible person for the coveted post of the Prime Minister, 86-year-old Badal told a gathering as part of his Sangat Darshan programme in Dharamkot assembly segment in Moga district.

Anti-people and irrational policies of the UPA regime have retarded the growth of Punjab and rest of the country, he alleged.
17:07  Prayer meet for Nirbhaya begins at Constitution Club:  A prayer meet is being held at Delhi's Constitution club for the young woman, the world calls Nirbhaya. Her parents and her brothers are at the venue. This day, last year, she was gang-raped, brutalised and thrown out of a bus. She died of her injuries, 13 days later, on December 29.

16:58  P for Pappu:  A lexicon of the Indian media's triumphs and tribulations in 2013.

See more 
16:55  Sohrabuddin case: SC notice to CBI on IPS officer's bail plea:  The Supreme Court today sought the CBI's response on the bail plea of suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, who is in judicial custody in connection with the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.

"We are inclined to consider your bail petition. We are issuing the notice," a bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

Responding to a query on the status of the trial, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Pandian, said, "I am in jail for last nearly seven years and the records, running into over 3,000 pages, are yet to be received by the trial judge."

The court has now posted the matter for hearing on January 13.
16:49  Modi on Lokayukta like Asaram talking about virginity: Ramesh:  Narendra Modi speaking about Lokayukta is like Asaram "talking about virginity", Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Monday, hitting back at the BJP prime ministerial candidate.  Read
16:44  Syria crisis: UN launches biggest ever $6.5bn aid appeal:  The United Nations is announcing its biggest ever appeal, seeking $6.5bn (4bn; 4.7bn euros) for humanitarian aid to Syria.The UN estimates nearly three-quarters of Syria's 22.4 million population will need humanitarian aid in 2014.

The appeal coincides with a new study by the International Rescue Committee, which warns that starvation is now threatening the Syrian population. Read
16:41  Comparison of Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 with the Bill as passed in the Lok Sabha.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 22, 2011. Some amendments were made to the Bill. The following table compares the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, as introduced, with the version of the Bill passed on December 27, 2011 by the Lok Sabha.  Read
16:38  Lalit Modi files nomination for RCA polls, BCCI threatens suspension:   Despite being banned for life by the cricket Board, former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi today defiantly filed his nomination for the December 19 Rajasthan Cricket Association elections, prompting a livid BCCI to threaten suspension of RCA for letting him back.

Modi's nomination papers for the post of RCA President were filed by his lawyer Mehmood Abdi, who himself is aiming for the vice-President's post in the elections scheduled on Thursday.
16:36  Don't forgive! Don't forget!:  The young woman who was raped on December 16, 2012 gave us courage. To stand up. To protest the crimes that had been committed against us. To fight back, says A Woman in Today's India. Read
16:27  How life has changed for Delhi rape victim's family. Read
16:22  Lokpal Bill highest priority of govt: Kamal Nath:  As Anna Hazare's fast entered the seventh day, the governmment today declared that the Lokpal Bill is its highest priority and it is even ready to extend the current session of Parliament, concluding on December 20, for passage of the anti-corruption measure.

Citing Hazare's backing to the Bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath took a dig at AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, a one-time protege of the Gandhian, saying those doing politics on the issue were finding fault with the measure.

Asked whether Samajwadi Party, which is opposing the Bill, has been brought on board, he said that his government will try its best to get the support of all parties for passage of the proposed legislation and it is "hopeful" about it.

"We are talking to all. We are appealing to all parties to cooperate with the government as the Lokpal Bill is the need of the nation," he said.

His remarks came after a meeting of the Congress Core Group which saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi huddled with senior leaders to devise a strategy for the passage of the Bill, scheduled to come up for consideration before Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
16:20  All eyes on SP during Lok Sabha polls: Akhilesh:  All eyes will be on Samajwadi Party to fight communal forces during the Lok Sabha polls as Congress has "failed" to do so in the recent Assembly elections, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said today.

"Only SP and UP can stop communal forces," he said. "Along with the development, checking communal forces is SP's agenda. The government, organisation and the party will work in this direction," the chief minister said.
16:02  Live! Lokpal Bill will be passed in RS tomorrow, says govt, NDA:   Samajwadi Party and BSP have said they will skip the all-party meet called by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Lokpal issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath says parties which attend the meeting have agreed to pass the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha tomorrow. NDA leaders have said that the bill will be passed tomorrow.
15:46  Cong has responsibility to convince SP on Lokpall bill: BJP:  Accusing Congress of not being committed to passing Lokpal bill in winter session of Parliament, BJP today said UPA government had the responsibility to convince its ally Samajwadi Party about it.

"Samajwadi Party is an alliance party of the UPA.So it is upto the Congress-led UPA to convince them about the bill. That's why I am saying Congress is not committed about passing the bill," BJP national spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She said she was sure the views of Mulayam Singh Yadav's representative, who was part of the select committee, would have been recorded and that Yadav and SP members could always speak of any reservations they have over the bill.

The Centre had on Friday brought back the Lokpal bill in Rajya Sabha in an amended form but its consideration was thwarted by Samajwadi Party, an outside supporter of the UPA government, which disrupted proceedings.
15:44  Delhi's women investigators. Meet the women who take on the untamed Delhi. Read
15:39  Live! All-party meet on Lokpal tomorrow, winter session may be extended:  Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said today that the session could be extended to ensure the bill is passed. Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Hamid Ansari, has called an all-party meeting tomorrow to discuss the way ahead on the Lokpal Bill.

The winter session of parliament session is set to end on December 20, which means the government has just four days to get the Bill cleared by both houses of parliament. 
15:34  Rajasthan judge's daughter 'freed' by Supreme Court to marry:   The Supreme Court today ordered the Jaipur Police to unite the daughter of a judge in the Rajasthan High Court with her boyfriend.

Sidharth Mukherjee had alleged that though Supriya Rathore is in love with him, her father, a judge named RS Rathore, had imprisoned her at home because he did not want the couple to marry because they belong to different castes.

The woman was presented for today's hearing by the state police on the orders of the Supreme Court. "I have no ill-will against my parents but I want to go to Sidharth Mukherjee, who I wish to marry," she told the judges.

They then ordered the Rajasthan Police to release her and let her leave the court with Mr Mukherjee. -- NDTV
15:27  What was Kejriwal thinking?:   The Aam Admi Party has been setting conditions for the Congress and the BJP for government formation in Delhi. One of the conditions he has set forth is that there should be no VIP culture in Delhi. But this picture, tweeted by Sucheta Dalal, shows AAP followers possibly tying Arvind Kejriwal's shoelaces. Infinitesimally worse than using a car with red battis or staying in government sanctioned MLA houses, we say. 
15:27  I search for my daughter in other young girls: Victim's mother:  "We are stuck. We are still struggling through the same problem. What is apparent is what we have lost and that we are still struggling to overcome it.Her voice resonates in my ears. Somewhere in my heart there is a hope that she will come back. I know this won't happen, but I don't feel satisfied. I hope to see her."

The Delhi gang-rape victim's family in conversation with the WSJ. Read
15:15  Fathers, Brothers and Other Demons:  Priya was raped by her father and brother for nine years --  and her mother knew all along -- till she saw on television the protests against the 16 December gang rape. Read
15:02  Live! Shuddh vegetarian Ambani exits from non-veg business :   RIL's move to exit the non-vegetarian food business is in deference to the wishes of a large section of consumers, shareholders and investors who had requested Mukesh Ambani to get out of the meat segment as it hurt their religious sentiments.

The non-vegetarian foods business, said to be growing at a CAGR of 25-30%, is estimated to comprise 10% of the company's total retail business and is also a profit-making venture.

Given that Ambani himself is a strict vegetarian, it is a clear sign that business decisions cannot be separated from an individual's dietary and lifestyle choices.  Read more
14:37  Fresh out of jail Lalu challenges Modi:  The former Bihar Chief Minister was released after he completed the bail formalities in a Special CBI court here as directed by the Supreme Court. Yadav came out of the main gate and paid obeisance to the tribal icon statue in jail premises.

"I will go around the country to strengthen the secular forces and Narendra Modi or BJP or RSS will not be allowed to fulfil their dreams," a relieved Lalu told reporters soon after release. Hundreds of RJD supporters greeted him on his release.

The RJD chief, another former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were on September 30 convicted by a special CBI court in the fodder scam case involving fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury during the Prasad-led RJD regime. 
14:33  The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev:  Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev heard voices in his head for years and a doctor feared he might be schizophrenic. The story of a family together, yet terrifyingly apart told so well in the Boston Globe. Have a look.
14:14  An elegy to Nirbhaya... Read
14:12  Coming home to my gaon:  "It takes a miracle to get me to smile for a photograph. Friends have had to crack jokes, cajole, and finally given up. Well, the miracle happened in Karachi. When I was in school in the '60s, everyone in Mumbai had a 'gaon', a 'native place' to which they went during the holidays. I would repeatedly ask my mother: "Where's our gaon?'  "Bombay's your gaon," she would answer with a laugh, leaving me dissatisfied." Jyoti Punwani on finding her Sindhi roots. Read
14:06  Vasundhara Raje meets PM, party leaders:   Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on her first visit to Delhi after winning the state assembly polls earlier this month.

The meeting was described as a courtesy call. This is her second stint as the Chief Minister of the desert state. Raje also met her party leaders including BJP President Rajnath Singh and senior leader Lal Krishna Advani.
14:06  SP to oppose Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha tomorrow:  Rubbishing as "fabricated" a report that it may relent, Samajwadi Party today said it will oppose the Lokpal Bill when it is taken up in Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

"Our party will continue to oppose the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha and our stand on it has not changed," SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said outside Parliament House.

Describing the reported assurance given by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath during a meeting as completely "fabricated", Yadav said, "It has never been conveyed by Mulayam Singh that Samajwadi Party will support the Lokpal Bill. It is aboslutely wrong."

Asked whether SP will continue to disrupt the House on the issue and not allow the Bill to be passed, he said, "I can only say SP will oppose it and not support it."

On the party's stand on the Bill, Yadav said, "Our stand has not changed. This (report) is only a rumour. You will see it tomorrow." He also said SP has given no assurance to the Rajya Sabha Chairman that it will not disrupt the House when the Bill is taken up tomorrow.
14:02   Kiran Bedi's snide tweets continue: The broom also works unconditionally. Because it is for cleansing and performing not threatening!
13:59  'This is like a weeping wound which will never heal':  "This is like a nasur (a weeping wound) which will never heal. Time hasn't changed anything. At work, at least my thoughts are not with my daughter.

"But she (pointing to his wife) spends all her time at home thinking about what happened to our daughter. We don't have the strength to go on any more, but we have to accept what has happened."

Nirbhaya's parents on life after death. Read
13:56  Rs 1000 crore Nirbhaya safety fund lies locked :  Money is yet to start flowing from the Rs 1,000-crore Nirbhaya Fund, one of the Centre's first initiatives for women's safety announced in the bus gang-rape victim's memory, a year after the incident.

Officials of at least three ministries said they had sent "comprehensive' proposals but the plans had still not been cleared by the P. Chidambaram-headed finance ministry almost 10 months after he announced the corpus while presenting the budget in February.  Read more
13:49  Live! Lalu walks out of Ranchi jail: Always had faith in judiciary:  Joyous day for Mrs Yadav in Ranchi. Husband Lalu Prasad Yadav has been released on bail from the Birsa Munda jail. The Supreme Court on Friday granted him bail in a fodder scam case in which he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for five years by a trial court in Jharkhand. He was lodged in a Ranchi jail on September 30. Addressing his followers outside the jail, he says he always had faith in the judiciary.
13:33  Delhi policewoman finds tradition mightier than the badge:  Policewoman Preeti Dhaka had been married nearly a month when she returned to a city pulsing with crowds of angry women last December protesting the brutal gang rape of a student on a bus.

Dhaka's regular beat was to protect women from crimes, and her heart was with the demonstrators her bosses sent her to restrain. "So many people are out here for her," Dhaka told her sister, referring to the rape victim. "She should get justice."

But then in one of the many strange ironies of life, she had a personal battle coming in which ended in her death. Read
13:24   Ganguly questions how ASG can release girl's affidavit:  With Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising making excerpts from the law intern's affidavit public, former Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly, accused of sexually harassing the intern, today questioned how could a confidential statement be made public.

"That is supposed to be confidential as it was given before a Supreme Court committee. How can it come out in the open?," questioned Ganguly, a former Supreme Court judge.

When asked whether he would complain about this, the retired judge told PTI, "What can I do? Who is listening to me?"

He refused to comment on the girl's affidavit, as published in a national daily, saying, "I will not say anything on this".

The girl, who has passed out from a Kolkata law school, had in a sworn affidavit before a three-judge panel of apex court judges gave a detailed account of what happened to her in a Delhi hotel room on 24 December, 2012 when she was called by the judge at night.
13:21  US teacher cries sexual harassment after student hugs her :  A 17-year-old high school student in the US has been suspended for a year for alleged sexual harassment after he hugged his teacher.

Sam McNair, a student at Duluth High School in Georgia was suspended last week after he was found to have violated the school's rules on sexual harassment.

A video of the hug, which was captured on CCTV, shows McNair entering a room last month and placing his arms around his teacher before tucking his head behind her neck, 'CBS Atlanta' reported.

"Something so innocent can be perceived as something totally opposite," said McNair. The teacher, according to a discipline report, has alleged that McNair's cheeks and lips touched the back of her neck and cheek. She had warned McNair that hugs were inappropriate but the teenager disputes it, the discipline report said.

However, McNair denied kissing his teacher or sexually harassing her. McNair said he regularly hugs his teachers and has never been disciplined for it in the past.

Sam's mother, April, said she was dumbfounded when she was informed of the suspension, the report said. April believes she should have been notified if her son's hugging was becoming problematic before suspending him and derailing his college plans.
13:15  DGMOs of India, Pak to meet when needed: Antony:  The Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan will meet each other when they feel the need for it, Defence Minister AK Antony said in New Delhi today.

"The two DGMOs are talking and let them talk. Whenever they feel, they will meet. It is up to them," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function to celebrate India's victory in 1971 war with Pakistan.

The Minister was asked why the meeting between the two DGMOs was not taking place despite directions issued by prime ministers of the two countries in this regard.

"Of late, the incidents of firing on the Line of Control have come down. Not completely, but it has come down of late," Antony said on the situation on the LoC.
13:13  A troubling practice:  Nationalistic outrage aside, the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York for giving false information to obtain a visa for her domestic worker, and paying her less than the local minimum wage, has shone well-deserved light on a troubling practice that many Indians unfortunately think is normal.
Read more
13:08  In pictures, Peter O'Toole:  Peter O'Toole, the willowy and mesmerizing actor who became an overnight sensation in the 1962 film epic "Lawrence of Arabia,' died Saturday in a London hospital. He was 81. His death, which was confirmed by his agent, came after a prolonged, unspecified illness. 

See his life in pictures.
13:04  Stung by onions:  The onion mania of the last month has by now settled into a fatalistic acceptance of onion prices at Rs 70 a kilo as one of those facts of life that must be endured because they cannot be cured.

Meanwhile, dire predictions have been made of governments toppled by the Onion Revolution, packs of television anchors have bayed for the blood of 'onion hoarders', the Congress has discovered that Narendra Modi is responsible for high onion prices and murder has been done and robberies committed for the sake of the precious vegetable. Read more
12:59  Delhi after Dec 16, what has changed, what hasn't :  The Delhi police have taken a raft of measures on womens safety since the fatal bus gang rape on December 16 last year, yet gender crime figures have skyrocketed this year. Read more
12:57  It took the deaths of 23 children for change to come to this village:  Five months after 23 children died from eating poison-laced school lunch, the tragedy has resulted in the construction of a new school, a creche, a health centre, roads and drainage system. The long forgotten village is finally being turned into a model village, but the grief of its loss is far from over. Read
12:48  The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi will attend a Congress Core Group meet ahead of the Parliament taking up Lokpal Bill tomorrow.
12:44  Kiran Bedi takes a dig at Kejriwal: Broom should sweep away dirt, not the good:  Kiran Bedi, a staunch Anna Hazare takes a dig at AAP and Arvind Kejriwal: The broom is to sweep away the dirt and not the good! Broom if used for other purposes loses its utility!

The broom or the jhadu is AAP's poll symbol. Anna is on fast at Ralegan Siddhi for the Janlokpal Bill.

This is what he said on the issue:
Anna: "I am going on the path of agitations and he [Kejriwal] has formed a political party. This country has gained freedom and many other things through public unrest and agitation and not through political parties.

The country has witnessed this on many occasions. In democracy, they are free to do what they want and I have many other things including right to recall, right to reject for which I would be needed to launch yet another fast... since the present form of bill is satisfactory, I have agreed to it."

Arvind Kejriwal said: "I am a little saddened by Annas support to the government Lokpal Bill. But may be Anna is not completely informed about the bill.

He is being misled by people around him. When we meet him we will try to explain the loopholes to him."
12:37  Here's why Delhi women are scared to step out on the road:  The number of rape cases this year is highest in the last 13 years, but Delhi police has attributed it to greater awareness and registering of cases which otherwise would have gone unreported.

According to Delhi police data, a total of 1,493 cases of rape were registered in the national capital till November 30 which is more than double the number of cases registered in the same period in 2012.

What is more alarming is that the number of cases of molestation has registered a five-fold increase as till November 2013, a total of 3,237 such cases were registered as against 625 last year.

Cases related to outraging the modesty of women, that includes eve-teasing and stalking, also show a similar trend with the figure skyrocketing to 852 from last year's 165.  Read more
12:24  The 'opportune time' for announcing PM candidate on Jan 17:   The AICC meeting in Delhi on January 17 has been called at a time when the Congress is facing an uphill task with the emergence of Narendra Modi and UPA appears to be shrinking.  The AICC meeting was due since the last meeting was held in Jaipur in January this year along with the 'Chintan Shivir' which saw the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the party Vice President.

After the defeat in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Asssembly polls, party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had said there would be deep introspection into the reverses.

The Congress Vice President had suggested that the party would effect changes beyond imagination.

The announcement about the AICC meeting came a day after DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who had parted ways with Congress- led UPA just a few months back, declared that it would not align with Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.

He accused Congress of being "ungrateful".

The announcement signalled an end to the decade-old relationship between the two parties.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which was the second largest constituent of UPA, left the alliance last year on FDI in retail issue.

At a time when the talk is that the next Lok Sabha polls will be a Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi affair, Sonia Gandhi has said that the party would announce at an opportune time, its Prime Ministerial candidate.
12:23  Hazare's fast enters seventh day:  Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare's indefinite hunger strike to press for passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament entered the seventh day today.

"Anna has lost 4.3 kg since the fast began," his aide Suresh Pathare said.

Hazare has been on fast since December 10. While Hazare praised the amended draft Lokpal bill presented in the Rajya Sabha, his one time protege Arvind Kejriwal has dismissed it as a "jokepal".

Addressing a press conference in Ralegan Siddhi yesterday, Hazare said, "I accept it completely. If this Bill is passed, I will end my fast. The Bill will help the poor people of this country".

Kejriwal has expressed his opposition to the Bill and Hazare's acceptance. "I'm really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari Lokpal Bill? Sarkari Lokpal is a jokepal. Who is misguiding him?" he had said.

This is what Kiran Bedi tweeted: Knowing Anna last three years he does what he believes in at any cost. He will not break his fast till he achieves what he thinks is right!
12:16  'Is this how you would treat your daughter, My Lord?':  The Additional Solicitor General shares what the law intern who has accused ex-SC judge A K Ganguly of sexual harassment told a court panel.

Read Indira Jaising's column for the Indian Express.
12:01  'The killing invisibility had ended...I was free at last':  Siddharth Dube writes of his experience of being gay in India, of how the country is now more accommodative of differences in sexual orientation than it was three decades ago, and why the Supreme Court judgment on Section 377 came as a major disappointment. Read more
11:55  Live! Sonia likely to announce Rahul as PM candidate on Jan 17:  Our sources in Delhi tell us that the All India Congress Committee will hold a two-day meeting from January 17 in Delhi. Party president Sonia Gandhi is likely to announce Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate.

On the day of huge four-state defeat, last Sunday, Sonia Gandhi had said, while accepting the people's verdict, that the decision on its prime ministerial candidate would be made at an "opportune moment".

With just five months to go for the Lok Sabha polls, the fundamental lacuna of the Congress to project anyone who can take on the Narendra Modi challenge needs to be addressed. 
11:48  The wrongness of deference:  In upholding the constitutionality of Section 377 of the IPC the Supreme Court has made a judgment that is value-laden, based on a particular worldview that many disagree with. Read 
11:47  Light a candle for Nirbhaya:  At 4:30 pm today, Nirbhaya's family will hold a memorial meet at the Constitution Club in Delhi. If you're in the city, try and be there and lend your support.

Or light a candle for a woman who was instrumental in changing rape laws in India. Do it here.
11:39  AAP upset over Anna backing Lokpal Bill:   Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday rubbished the government's version of lokpal as "weak" and "ineffective" even as social activist Anna Hazare endorsed the revised anti-graft legislation placed before Rajya Sabha.

Kejriwal said he was saddened by Hazare's support for government's Lokpal Bill, and warned that the proposed legislation would not prevent corruption but instead work to "protect the corrupt".
Read the full story here.
11:36  Telangana Bill tabled in AP Assembly amid din:   The draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill-2013, that provides for creation of a new state of Telangana, was finally tabled before the legislative Assembly today amid uproar by legislators favouring and opposing it.

On the instructions of Speaker Nadendla Manohar, Legislature Secretary S Raja Sadaram laid copies of the draft Bill on the table of the House and read out the reference of President Pranab Mukherjee sent to the state on December 12.

While legislators from Telangana cheered the tabling of the Bill, those from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions tore the copies in protest and anger. The President had referred the Bill to the state Legislature for expressing its views by January 23. The Bill was tabled under Article 3 of the Constitution.
11:28  A year after the Delhi gang rape...:  This day, a year ago, a young woman was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus by six psychopaths. She died of her injuries 13 days later. Her family says they haven't found closure. They can't stop thinking about her and what happened to her and miss her at every moment.

Read: 'How can we find closure if those men are still alive?'  
11:22  Anna asks who's AAP, Bedi says Kejriwal using Lokpal for gains:  Ties between Anna Hazare and his former protege Arvind Kejriwal reached a new low on Sunday with Hazare associate Kiran Bedi accusing the Aam Aadmi Party chief of trying to keep the issue of the Lokpal alive for political gains even though most of their demands regarding the Bill had been met.

Hazare denied Kejriwal's claim that he had been misled by "some people" to believe that the government's Lokpal Bill, was strong and effective.

He wouldn't try convincing AAP otherwise though, Hazare added, as "it wasn't an important enough party".  -- The Indian Express
11:13  Waiting to see when and how the Supreme Court rises to the occasion to deal with Justice Ganguly, Law Minister Kapil Sibal tweets. 
11:12  Indira Jaising refuses to back down:  The details of allegedly transpired between the law intern and Justice AK Ganguly was released by Indira Jaising, the Additional Solicitor General of India.

Jaising wrote an open letter to Justice AK Ganguly who is currently accused of sexually harassing an intern in December last year.

The open letter, published in the Indian Express, quotes sections of the affidavit submitted by the intern before the 3-judge committee formed to look into the allegations.

This is the second instance where the ASG has taken a clear, and public, stance against Justice Ganguly who continues to chair the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

Last week, the ASG had asked the Prime Minister of India to initiate removal proceedings against the retired Supreme Court judge.  
10:57  Live! Law intern: Justice Ganguly asked me to share his room:  This is what the law intern said happened between her and Justice AK Ganguly.

Spelling more trouble for the retired Supreme Court judge in the sexual harassment case, the victim has alleged that he asked her to share his room and said that he loved her.

The law intern, who has made sexual harassment allegations against Justice Ganguly, said this in an affidavit submitted to a three-member apex court panel probing the matter.

"The judge informed me that it may not be possible to have a separate room arranged for me, and asked me if I would stay in the same room with him," the victim said.

The complainant further added that despite her opposition, Justice Ganguly tried to come close to her, even twisted her arm and kissed her and said that he loved her.

"During the dinner, the judge put his hand on my back and thanked me for agreeing to help him. I moved away, clearly indicating to the judge that this physical contact was unwelcome and not proper behaviour on his part.

However, the judge did not remove his hand from my back, and then moved forward to embrace me. At this point, the judge approached me and, standing next to me, he put his hand on my head, and said, 'You are very beautiful'."

"I immediately rose from my seat, but before I had a chance to respond to the statement, he caught hold of my arm, saying, 'You know that I'm attracted to you, don't you? You must be thinking, what, this old man is getting drunk and saying such things. But I really like you, I love you'.

"When I tried to move away, he kissed my arm and repeated that he loved me," she said in the statement.

Based on the revelations made by the law intern in her affidavit, Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought action against Ganguly.

She also demanded that Justice Ganguly must be immediately sacked as the Chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

The complainant lawyer has also alleged that at least three other girls have also faced harassment by the same judge.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has stepped up pressure on Ganguly to quit as chairman of the state human rights commission. Law Minister Kapil Sibal and BJP leader Arun Jaitley have also urged the apex court to act against the judge it had indicted.

However, the judge remains defiant and has refused to quit. -- Zee News
10:03  Fog disrupts flight operations at Delhi airport:  Delhi witnessed the first fog of the winter season today which delayed the schedule of over 25 domestic and international flights at the IGI Airport in New Delhi.

The flights were delayed as the runway visibility dropped to less than 50 metres, bringing landing and take-off to a halt for over an hour, an airport official said.

This is the first fog of the winter season, which started to descend at the airport early in the morning, but as the day progressed it become dense.
10:01  Law intern: Justice Ganguly kissed my arm, told me he loved me:   In further embarrassment for Justice AK Ganguly in the sexual harassment case, the woman has alleged in her affidavit that the judge had asked her to stay in the same room as his and kissed her arm. She also alleged that he said that he loved her.
09:53  Delhi Congress in-charge likely to reply to Kejriwal today:  Accoprding to reports, Delhi Congress in-charge Shakeel Ahmed is likely to reply to AAP party chief Arvind Kejriwal today.

Kejriwal had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh asking them for their take on the AAP's manifesto and the Jan Lokpal Bill.
09:45  Head of Travancore Royal family dead:  Utharadom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, head of Travancore Royal family, died here this morning following a cardiac arrest, a palace spokesperson said.

Ninety-one-year-old Marthanda Varma was admitted in a private hospital here few days ago. He was successor of the last Maharaja of the princely state of Travancore Chithira Tirumal Balarama Varma. Marthanda Varma was patron of several religious and cultural institutions, including the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, whose fame soared in recent times following the inventory of the priceless treasures locked up in its vaults.

A Sanskrit scholar, England educated Marthanda Varma was a photography enthusiast and his memoir has a chapter entirely dedicated to royals from different parts of the world he had photographed.

People from different walks of life turned up to pay last respects to he departed royal family head at the Levi Hall in the city where the body has been kept.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and leaders of various political parties and socio cultural organisations condoled the death of Marthanda Varma.
09:29  Kiran Bedi to break fast today:   Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who had joined Anna Hazare's fast on Saturday in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra, will end her fast today.

She will also return to Delhi today.

09:23  'Lawrence Of Arabia's Peter O' Toole dies at 81:  Oscar-nominated actor Peter O'Toole died yesterday, his agent confirmed Sunday. He was 81.

Often called the Hamlet of his generation, his death comes only about a year after retiring from a 54-year career in both stage and film highlighted by his turn as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, which won seven Oscars including Best Picture.

The beloved actor was nominated for eight Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in his lifetime, including a nod for the Lawrence role that defined his career.

Read the full article here
08:27  Indian-Americans marks Sardar Patel's 63rd death anniversary:  Many Indian-Americans paid their respect to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 63rd death anniversary and braved freezing winds here to participate in the "Run for Unity" to mark the occasion.

Comparing Sardar Patel with Abraham Lincoln, scientist Anju Preet from the event's organiser, "Hum Vatan, Bringing Indians Closer", said that both the leaders were instrumental in uniting their country.

"Sardar Patel brought together more than 500 different entities to create modern India, and this effort was long overdue," she said yesterday. Underlining the need for people from different parts of India to unite in the effort to memorialise the contribution of Sardar Patel, Utsav Chakravarti commended Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for this ambitious project to build a gigantic iron statue of the leader.

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