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CPI-M demands re-investigation of Suryanelli case

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February 17, 2013

20:26  CPI-M demands re-investigation of Suryanelli case:  The CPI-M today demanded a re-investigation of the 17-year-old Suryanelli gangrape case and sought removal of P J Kurien from the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman following allegations against him in connection with the incident.

"A re-investigation is essential and Kurien should step down from his post of Depuy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, till it is over," the CPI-M Polit Bureau said in a statement here, claiming that "fresh evidence" had surfaced in the case.
19:36  Shahbag protesters versus the Butcher of Mirpur:  
Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunals this month sentenced fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison for 'crimes against humanity' siding with Pakistani troops during the 1971 liberation war. 

The sentence sparked protests by Mollah's supporters, who say his conviction was politically motivated, but also counter-protests by many Bangladeshis who think his sentence was too lenient and he should have been sentenced to death. 

Here is the Guardian's interesting take on 'The butcher of Mirpur'
18:43  Delay in justice a major challenge, says CJI Kabir:  Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir today said a major problem being faced in delivery of criminal justice was delay 'where the entire process takes almost 15-16 years'.

Delivering Justice P D Desai memorial lecture here on 'Administration of Criminal Justice', Justice Kabir said, "Today a major problem is delay where the entire process, from the time when an offence is registered to the stage of final conviction, takes almost 15 to 16 years."

"I hope everybody involved in the process would perform their duty to expedite the wheels of justice," he added.

"This (delay) is the main thing which bothers judiciary. And because of inordinate delay, sometimes we see angry reaction from public feeling that something should be done immediately," he said while elaborating the challenges in administration of criminal justice.
17:58  Chopper deal: CBI engages a lawyer in Italy:  The CBI has engaged a lawyer in Italy to represent India's case with the Italian government and the local courts to find out the role of Indians in the alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

Official sources said today that the assistance of a lawyer was taken to help understand the Italian law and expedite getting documents from the helicopter company.

The lawyer, if necessary, would be approaching the court in Italy for procurement of documents, they said.

A team of CBI and the defence ministry officials is leaving for Italy tomorrow to verify allegations of kickbacks in the supply of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters.
17:31  Re-polling in one Tripura booth tomorrow:  Re-polling will be held in a polling station at Kakrabon-Salgarah constituency in Gomati district tomorrow.

The Election Commission ordered re-polling at 36 number polling station of the constituency as the EVM did not function properly on the day of February 14 assembly elections in Tripura, Sources in Chief Electoral Officer office today said. 

The voting would start tomorrow from 7 am and would continue till 4 pm.
17:17  US F-16s chase down small planes near Obama's Florida resort:  US F-16 fighter jets intercepted two small planes that separately violated flight restrictions set up in Florida for US President Barack Obama's visit, according to a media report.

In the first incident, a Cessna 152, entered the restricted airspace just before noon yesterday near the Palm City resort where Obama is staying, according to Lt. Col. Mike Humphreys.

The military's North American Aerospace Defense Command sent a F-16 fighter jet and a Coast Guard helicopter to intercept the plane, he was quoted as saying by CNN.

The F-16 flew with the plane until it landed at Witham Field in nearby Stuart, where it was met by local officials. The Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

Five hours later, F-16s intercepted a Lancair 320, a smaller craft that seats two passengers, the defense command said.
16:52  Mayawati wants to be PM after next Lok Sabha polls:  Making clear her prime ministerial aspirations, BSP supremo Mayawati today asked party workers to ensure a big victory for BSP in the next general elections and warned them against becoming a 'saleable commodity'. 

Addressing a rally of party workers here, the former UP Chief Minister asked her party workers to ensure a big victory for BSP in the next general elections so that she can 'deliver Independence Day speech as prime minister from the Red Fort'. 

Mayawati cautioned her party cadre to remain alert against forces that might "try to corrupt them" during the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. "Don't become a saleable commodity," she warned.

She accused the Congress and the BJP of conspiring to stall the bill on quota in promotion for SCs/STs in government jobs and promised that if her party comes to power at the Centre, it would ensure that it is implemented.
16:47  Hurriyat members meet Afzal Guru's family:  A team of leaders of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference today visited the bereaved family of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru at Sopore in Baramulla district of Kashmir.

"A delegation of Hurriyat leaders including Musadiq Adil, G N Zaki and Farooq Ahmad Tawhedi met the family members of Guru after they were successful in breaking the cordon thrown by the government around his house," a spokesman of the amalgam said.

The delegation had to take a boat to cross the Jhelum river and reach Guru's house at Jagir in Sopore, he said. The delegation expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family, relatives and people of the area, the spokesman said.
16:13   Pistorius shot girlfriend 'on instinct': Father:   Olympic star Oscar Pistorius's father has claimed that his son acted on instinct and shot dead his girlfriend by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Henke Pistorius, 59, said that his family had 'zero doubt' that Pistorius had shot Reeva Steenkamp dead mistakenly.

He said the entire Pistorius family was 'heart and soul' behind the athlete and would do 'whatever needs to be done' to help him clear his name, the Telegraph reports. 
15:33  Pak to hold general election by May 16:  Pakistan will hold general election by May 16 after the national and provincial assemblies are dissolved on completing their five-year term, a senior minister announced today.

"The present assemblies will be dissolved on March 16 and the election will be held within two months," Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said. Briefing journalists after a meeting here yesterday with cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who has been demanding electoral reforms, Kaira said the period for scrutinising electoral candidates would be 14 days instead of 30 and Qadri had no objection to this.

"According to our agreement with Qadri, we will also consult him on the nomination of the caretaker prime minister," he said.
15:25  Rains force pilgrims to leave at Kumbh Mela:  Heavy rainfall over the last two days has thrown life out of gear at the Maha Kumbh mela premises as several pilgrims, disheartened by uprooted tents, prolonged power cuts and water-logged pathways, have started returning to their respective places before schedule.

The sprawling Kumbh mela area, which has been remaining bathed in light even after nightfall, plunged into darkness late Friday night and remained so last night as well.

Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad Devesh Chaturvedi said that 'power supply has been cut to prevent any short circuits as at many places cables have fallen on tents'.

"Supply will be restored gradually as the situation is brought under control," he added.
14:31  Army foils infiltration bid along LoC in Rajouri:  An infiltration bid by a group of five militants was today foiled by the Army which launched a massive search operation along the Line of Control in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

"A suspected move of a group of four-five persons was detected by alert army troops along the LoC at Hamirpur area, Balakote sector of Bhimber Gali Brigade, Rajouri at early hours today," PRO defence S N Acharya said. 

"Immediately, the surrounding area was cordoned off. The infiltrating group was challenged by our troops," he said, adding that the men thereafter took cover in the bushes and opened fire on the troops.
13:43  EC bars 2,171 candidates for not filing returns:  In a bid to ensure free and fair elections and curb the use of money power, the Election Commission has disqualified as many as 2,171 candidates for failing to furnish details of expenditure incurred while contesting Parliamentary and Assembly polls.

These candidates will face the bar for three years from the date of disqualification by the Commission, with the maximum being up to January 2016.

The move is part of the poll body's measures to bring in financial transparency and propriety in the conduct of elections which forms the larger part of electoral reforms process.
13:28  Tatra truck deal: ED sends LRs to the UK, Hong Kong:   Speeding up its probe in a controversial defence deal that had surfaced last year, the Enforcement Directorate has recently sent judicial requests to the UK and Hong Kong in connection with its money laundering probe in the Tatra truck deal. 

The agency has dispatched the requests, called Letters Rogatory (LRs) in judicial terminology, after a special court in New Delhi recently allowed its request in this regard.
13:25  Inspector arrested for 1992 alleged fake encounter:  TOI reports: The state Crime Investigation Department have arrested the police officer involved in the alleged fake encounter of gangster Baban Koiyande in 1992.

This was following an order by the Additional District Session Judge RB Todkar of Kalyan court on January 10, 2003.

 Judge Todkar rejected the anticipatory bail application of retired assistant commissioner police of Farooqui Mohamad Omar, retired ACP Vilash Jadhav, as well as police sub inspector Emmanuel Amolik.

Read this very interesting piece on the 'Rise of the '83 'encounter batch'
13:12  Caught on CCTV: Builder shot dead in Mumbai, 1 held:  The Indian Express reports: A local builder was stabbed multiple times on his chest, and over his right arm, with the two assailants pumping five bullets in close range on Saturday morning at 8.30 outside his office in Sector 29 at Navi Mumbai. 
The police have recovered an Italian make pistol and made one arrest.

Read the full story here
13:02  CVC seeks report on chopper deal:  The Central Vigilance Commission has sought a report from the Defence Ministry on alleged irregularities in the controversial Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal with an Italian firm.

The Chief Vigilance Officer of the Defence Ministry has been asked to furnish the report on the charges of alleged corruption raised in a complaint sent to the CVC, sources in the anti-corruption watchdog said.

They said the complaint alleging corruption in the chopper deal was received by the Commission and it was sent to the CVO, who acts as a distant arm of the CVC, of the defence ministry as per standard practice.
12:41  Cameron to arrive in Mumbai tomorrow:  British Prime Minister David Cameron is arriving here tomorrow morning on his second state visit to the country.

Cameron, on a three-day visit, comes to the city close on the heels of French President Francois Hollande, who was in the megapolis last Friday as a part of his state visit and met the head honchos of India Inc.

Cameron, who will leave for New Delhi the same evening, will be accompanied by a large business delegation including chief executives of leading British business houses, vice-chancellors of reputed universities, dignitaries and senior officials from 10 Downing Street among others.
12:17  Hamid Karzai limits Nato's Afghan strikes:  BBC reports: Afghan security forces are to be banned from calling for foreign air strikes in residential areas, President Hamid Karzai has said.

Karzai said he would issue a decree on Sunday, less than a week after 10 civilians were killed in a night raid in the eastern province of Kunar.Nato-led forces in Afghanistan are not expected to make a formal response until the full decree has been issued.

Read the full story here
00:43  Oscar Pistorius case: TV channel defends Steenkamp show:  A South African TV channel has defended its decision to air a reality show featuring Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of athlete Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of her murder.

The producer of the SABC show, Samantha Moon, told the BBC the decision was taken after consulting the family.

'Tropika Island of Treasure' was broadcast on Saturday evening.
00:25  Vatican: Conclave to pick new Pope may start by March 15:  CNN reports: The cardinals, who will pick a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he steps down on February 28 could meet to make the decision sooner than thought, a Vatican spokesman said.

The conclave, the meeting which will bring together the 117 cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, could start before March 15 if all the cardinals are already in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi said. He had previously said the conclave was likely to start between March 15 and 19.

Read the full story here

00:23  Namdhari killed Ponty Chadha's brother: Sources:  In the 1800-page chargesheet filed in the Ponty Chadha shootout, police have accused former Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari of murder, abduction, wrongful confinement among other charges.

Sources tell NDTV that after Hardeep shot his elder brother Ponty, Namdhari and his security officer Sanjeev Tyagi opened fire at him, killing him on the spot.

The sources add that the Delhi police in its chargesheet has said that Hardeep's murder was not an act of self-defence but was a cold-blooded murder committed by Namdhari and his associates.

Read the full report here

00:19  Modi tells state MPs to raise Gujarat issues in Budget session:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on Saturday of state Members of Parliament and asked them to raise issues related to Gujarat's development during the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.

However, except Rajkot MP Kunvarji Bavalia, no other Congress legislator took part in the meeting.

The chief minister asked the MPs to play a "non-partisan and proactive role" in the interest of "momentum of development in the state", an official statement said.
00:17  Top headlines in the last 24 hours:  
Sanjeev Tyagi: Have no links with AgustaWestland

Four Veerappan associates to be executed on Sunday?

Pix: Over 60 killed, 200 injured in blast in Pak's Quetta

At Cong meet, Rahul strongly snubs call to take over as PM

SC declines plea of Veerappan aides for stay on execution

Abortion row: Docs failed to treat Savita, says leaked report

Cong reflecting on simultaneous state and general polls?

Ponty Chadha shootout: Namdhari chargesheeted for murder

Chopper scam: Italian court rejects India's request for documents

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