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Parliamentary panel slams Delhi police

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January 02, 2013

23:59  NRHM scam: Kushwaha, among 9 produced in CBI court:  Former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, legislator RP Jaiswal and seven other accused in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission scam were today produced before a CBI court.

Kushwaha, BSP MLA Jaiswal, industrialist Naresh Grover, RK Bhasah, former director of CNDC branch of Jal Nigam PK Jain, former project manager BN Srivastava, Katar Bhasih, former resident engineer BN Ram Yadav and former accountant JK Masah were produced before the court.

The special CBI judge S Lal posted the matter for January 4 after hearing arguments.
23:58  Parliamentary panel slams Delhi police:  A Pariamentary committee on empowerment of women today slammed the Delhi police for its 'poor image' among the people and asked it to list out steps to improve the safety of women in the state.

Thecommittee had summoned Home Secretary R K Singh and Delhi police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of the gruesome gangrape of a 23-year-old women who later died.

Sources said the Committee headed by Congress MP Ratna Singh directed the city police to forward all pending proposals regarding safety of women that they had prepared but not yet implemented.

The panel also said it would monitor on a regular basis the progress in implementation of the proposals. During the course of the meeting, Neeraj Kumar outlined the steps taken by the Delhi police to improve the safety of women.
23:23  Low intensity earthquake hits Sikkim:  An earthquake of slight intensity today hit Gangtok. The quake, measuring 3.0 on the Richter Scale struck around 8.24 pm, a statement by the Meteorological Department said.
22:53  Shankaracharya endorses death for rapists:  Shankaracharya of Puri Peeth, Swami Nischalanand Saraswati, today said harsher punishments such as chemical castration and death penalty were needed to curb sexual assault of women.

"Several incidents of rape and sexual harassment are reported from Delhi as well as from other states everyday. There is a need for more stringent law against those who commit such crimes," Swami Nischalanand told reporters. 

The law should provide for 'chemical castration and death sentence for rape', he said, adding that such provisions must not be allowed to be misused. The religious leader also said the media should not hype reports of sexual offences.
22:46  One held for eve-teasing in Mumbai:   A 22-year-old salesman has been arrested on the charge of eve-teasing after he, along with three of his friends, passed lewd remarks against a woman in suburban Chembur here, police said today.

The 23-year-old victim, also a salesgirl, was going to buy food at 8 am on December 30 when the incident had occurred, they said.

While accused Kamaljit Singh has been arrested, the trio are absconding, police said.
22:26  Hugo Chavez in 'delicate' condition after surgery:  Venezuela's vice-president is returning home from visiting Hugo Chvezin Cuba and said the ailing president's condition remained "delicate" three weeks after cancer surgery.

With rumours swirling that Chvez had taken a turn for the worse, Nicolas Maduro said he had met with the president twice and had spoken with him.

"He's totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us ' to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances," Maduro said in an interview pre-recorded in Havana and broadcast on Tuesday night by the Caracas-based television network Telesur.
21:57  Hugo Chavez in 'delicate' condition after surgery:  Venezuela's vice-president is returning home from visiting Hugo Chvezin Cuba and said the ailing president's condition remained "delicate" three weeks after cancer surgery.

With rumours swirling that Chvez had taken a turn for the worse, Nicolas Maduro said he had met with the president twice and had spoken with him.

"He's totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us ' to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances," Maduro said in an interview pre-recorded in Havana and broadcast on Tuesday night by the Caracas-based television network Telesur.
21:10  UN raises Syria death toll to 60,000:  More than 60,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising and civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.

Dozens were killed in a Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned a petrol station into an inferno, incinerating drivers who had rushed there for a rare chance to fill their tanks, activists said.

"I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered," said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area an hour after the raid occurred at 1:00 PM (1100 GMT) in Muleiha, a suburb on the eastern edge of the capital.

Read more here
20:48  Corruption like cancer, to be eradicated at earliest: SC:  Corruption is a "disease like cancer" which if not detected in time will spread "its malignancy" in the polity of the country, the Supreme Court said today. 

"Corruption in a civilised society is a disease like cancer, which if not detected in time, is sure to spread its malignancy among the polity of the country, leading to disastrous consequences," a bench of justices B S Chauhan and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla said.
20:03  Rs 10,000 crore cut in defence budget :   The government has imposed around five per cent cut in the Rs 1.93 lakh crore defence budget this year in view of the economic slowdown.    

The ministry of finance recently conveyed to the defence ministry that there would be a cut of around Rs 10,000 crore in the Rs 1.93 lakh crore allocated for the defence sector, ministry officials said.    

After the cut in budget, several key acquisition plans of the three forces including the procurement of 126 combat aircraft for the IAF are expected to be pushed for the next fiscal, they said.
20:03  Javed Miandad granted visa despite Dawood connection:  Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has been granted an Indian visa that will allow him to attend the final one-day mtach of the ongoing limited-over cricket series between the two countries in New Delhi on January 6.     

Due to Miandad's family ties with Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted terrorist, there had been reports before that any requests for a visa by the batting great could be turned down by the Indian government.

Miandad's son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, the daughter of Dawood, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.
19:56  Two Bangladeshi smugglers shot dead by BSF:  Two Bangladeshi cattle smugglers were shot dead by the BSF and a jawan was injured in their attack at Habibpur area of Malda district in West Bengal, BSF sources said.       

The incident occurred at Beldanga locality under Tilason border outpost when a group of rustlers were smuggling cattle across the international border amid dense fog.       

The BSF personnel chased the smugglers, who attacked the border guards with bombs injuring a jawan, identified as Yogesh, the sources said.
19:53  Tata Group to invest Rs 45,000 cr in 2 years: Mistry:  The Tata Group will invest over Rs 45,000 crore in the next two years, Chairman Cyrus Mistry told employees on Wednesday.
19:27  Obama returns to Hawaii after fiscal cliff vote :  With the fiscal cliff deal done, US President Obama today returned to Hawaii to resume his traditional end-of-the-year vacation with his family.      

Obama boarded Air Force One about 30 minutes after White House remarks applauding the House of Representatives vote to avert a series of tax hikes and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff, USA Today reported.      

The plan approved today maintains tax cuts for individuals earning less than US$ 400,000 per year and couples earning less than US$ 450,000. 

It will raise tax rates for those who make more, marking the first time in two decades that the rates will jump for the wealthiest Americans.
19:25  RS by-poll: Congress leader Rajani Patil faces no contest:  Rajani Patil, Congress candidate for a Rajya Sabha by-election from Maharashtra, is set to get elected unopposed as the opposition Shiv Sena-BJP is not fielding anybody.     

The by-election was necessitated by the death of former chief minister and Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh last August.     

The term of this seat, from the legislative assembly quota, will expire on April 2, 2018. Today was the last date of filing of nominations.     

Scrutiny of applications will be held on Thursday and the last date of withdrawal is January 5. The election, if required, would be held on January 12.
19:14  HC reserves verdict on imposing Section 144:  The Delhi high court today reserved its verdict on a plea against the imposition of prohibitory orders in and around India Gate during the recent anti-rape stir,saying the legal provision of Section 144 of CrPC may lose its sanctity if invoked without proper procedures.        

"There are rights to movement and speech and expression, it (Section 144 of the CrPC) cannot be used just like that, otherwise it would lead to loss of the sanctity," a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said.  
18:55  Bus owner arrested over Delhi gangrape case:  Dinesh Yadav, the owner of the bus in which a 23-year-old woman was gangraped on December 16, has been arrested. 

Earlier, a FIR was filed against Yadav for providing false information. 
18:47  HC reserves verdict on imposing section 144 around India Gate:  The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a plea against imposition of prohibitory orders in and around India Gate during the recent anti-rape stir, saying the legal provision of section 144 of CrPC may lose its sanctity if invoked without proper procedures.

"There are rights to movement and speech and expression, it (section 144 of the CrPC) cannot be used just like that... otherwise it would lead to loss of the sanctity," a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said.

The court's observations came during hearing of a PIL, filed by Delhi-based advocate Anand K Mishra, who alleged that the prohibitory order was invoked in an "arbitrary" manner and without following the procedures enshrined under the CrPC.
18:45  At 9.8C, this is Delhi's coldest DAY in 44 years:  The entire North India today shivered due to intense cold wave as plummeting mercury claimed 15 more lives in Uttar Pradesh, with thick fog cover throwing normal life out of gear in many places of the region.

Delhi witnessed its coldest day of January in past 44 years, with the maximum temperature falling sharply by 11 notches to stand at 9.8 degrees. Residents woke up to a foggy morning, with the minimum temperature dipping by two notches below normal to stay at 4.8 degree Celsius.

Poor visibility affected schedules of nearly 30 flights and led to diversion of an international flight to Mumbai. In Uttar Pradesh, the death toll continued to mount, with 15 more people succumbing to the chill in various parts of the state.
18:43  Complaint filed against Owaisi for 'inflammatory' speech:  A complaint was today filed against AIMMM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi for his alleged inflammatory speech made last month in Andhra Pradesh. Social activist Shabnam Hashmi filed the complaint in Parliament Street police station drawing the attention to the speech made on December 24 in Nirmal town.

In her complaint, she alleged that "the whole speech is highly objectionable, inflammatory" and against country's cultural heritage. "It is a strong attack on the values of our Constitution, democracy and secular values. Such obnoxious speeches divide society, vitiate peace and lead to conflicts and riots," she claimed.

She demanded that a case be registered against Owaisi under section 153-A (prompting enmity between different groups of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC.
18:36  Modi would be happy to read this: Guj promises more growth:   On the Economic Times, a must-read interview with economist Jagdish Bhagwati and his co-author Arvind Panagariya, also a professor of Indian economics at Columbia University. Among other things, they say the unthinkable: Criticise Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen for his "anti-growth assertions". Excerpts
18:29  Dad of Del gang-rape girl thanks India for support:  He also said the law needs to be amended so that boys over 14 years of age will be treated as adults.

It may be recalled that one of the six accused in the murder and rape of the Delhi girl is a minor. A bone test is being conducted to determine if the youngest suspect in the case is indeed a juvenile. If the test determines he is 18 years or older he will be treated as a legal adult.

Being a minor his trial will be held at the Juvenile Justice Board under the Juvenile Justice Act.  The Juvenile Justice Act has a provision for a maximum sentence of 3 years irrespective of the offense.
Even though the accused is only months away from turning major, but since the law takes cognizance of the age at the commission of offense his trial will be held under the Juvenile Act.
18:23  Dad of Del gang-rape girl thanks India for support:  Just in: CNN IBN: The father of the Delhi gang-rape accused has "thanked the entire. country for standing up for his daughter. If a law is named after her, it will be an honour. I believe the law needs to be amended to punish the guilty." 
18:20  SC seeks WB reply on bail plea of Park Street gangrape accused:  The Supreme Court today granted another two weeks to West Bengal Government to respond to its notice on a plea by a Park Street gang rape accused against denial of bail to him by the Calcutta High Court.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and H L Gokhale had issued notice to the state government on November 26, 2012 and sought its reply within three weeks on a plea by Sumit Bajaj, one of the youths accused of gang-raping an Anglo-Indian woman in a car on February 5 last year.

The high court had rejected Bajaj's bail plea along with that of another accused in the case on October 19, 2012.

Here's what TMC's Kakoli Ghose Dastidar said on the Park Street rape. Read
18:03  Cong warns Tharoor: Air views in party before tweet:  The first Congress reaction on Union HRD Minister Shashi Tharoor's tweet that the new law on gang rape should be named after the Delhi victim. The Congress has said the minister should first air his views in the party and government fora before going public.

Remember Tharoor's 2009 tweet about travelling 'cattle class' that got him into serious trouble with the party. Read it here.
17:50  Take a bow Delhi, the nerve centre of bravehearts:  A determined crowd of Delhi youngsters has done what countless seminars by sarkari feminists could not accomplish: put safety of women slap bang at the centre of the political discourse. Safety for women is normally the very lowest priority, an issue imprisoned in the zenana dabba of a handful of dedicated rights activists, an issue sneered at by both male and female netas. Does any politician worth his salt really care about the Ministry of Women and Child Development? Read Sagarika Ghose's piece on
17:23  City setting, but village mentalities:  India is essentially a village, and because it is a village it is a woman's ancient foe. Even the country's apparent cities are overwhelmed by deep and enduring infestations of rural tradition and the fellowships of the conservatives who hold women in low esteem. The Parliament and legislative assemblies are largely confederations of village headmen. Read Manu Joseph's piece for the New York Times
17:05  Crowds thin at Jantar Mantar anti-rape protest:  At Jantar Mantar today, students, activists and professionals continued to protest against the gang rape, and subsequent death, of the 23-year-old girl on a moving bus in Delhi last month.The crowds have thinned from the large numbers seen in the past but the enthusiasm of those still ensconced in Jantar Mantar seemed undiminished. The crowd Wednesday was a few hundred. More
16:57   Abhijit Mukherjee still trending on Twitter. Oculus @daddy_san: Haha! A friend was on the same flight as Abhijit Mukherjee. Apparently the passengers chanted "PAINTED AND DENTED", embarrassing him a lot.

No clue about what that means? Read this
16:52  Prince Harry is a jackal killing innocents:   One of Afghanistan's most feared warlords has launched a withering attack on Prince Harry, who has spent Christmas serving in the country, labeling the prince a 'jackal' who was 'drunk' while hunting innocent Afghans. Read
16:41  Why 2013 is crucial for Indian polity:  India's politics is about to take a sinister turn. The coming year may be the last one of relative stability for the country. Read
16:27  Anna denied right to rally in Patna:  Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare's plan to launch a country-wide campaign against corruption on January 30 from the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna has hit problems after the district administration refused to grant permission for a rally. Read more.
16:20  UK travel advisory: Avoid Delhi after gang rape:  Britain's government is warning its citizens not to visit the center of Delhi due to the fear of protests over the death Saturday of a 23-year-old student who was gang raped last month. On Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, protesters clashed with police in central Delhi, injuring 85 people, mainly demonstrators who were calling for tougher punishments for rapists. Read more. And the travel advisory
16:10  Delhi police chief summoned:  Parliament's Standing Committee on Home today summoned senior Delhi Police officers, including Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar to appear before it.The senior police officers are likely to be questioned about the December 16 gang rape case and also will be asked what progress they have made to make the city of Delhi safer for women.The committee is scheduled to meet on January 4, where Kumar is expected provide a written response to questions which could not be answered at a December 27 meeting of the panel.
16:01  Liquor sales down 20% as sombre Delh shun the bottle:  Delhiites love for the bottle is well known. But the Capital, which used to break new grounds as far as consumption of liquor was concerned, has suddenly witnessed a decrease in the number of people hitting the bottle. Read more
15:55  TMC suspends leaders, activists over dirty dancing:  The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday condemned and suspended the leaders and activists who were caught on camera heckling and throwing money at hired women dancers at one of its founding day celebrations. TMC leader and spokesman Derek O'Brien said that a disciplinary committee may even consider sacking the persons involved from the party.
15:54  Silent march in capital to demand justice for gangrape victim:  Hundreds of women, including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, today participated in a silent march demanding justice for the 23-year-old girl who lost her life after being gang raped and brutally assaulted even as a group of people continued their fast at Jantar Mantar on the issue.

Dikshit flagged off the 'Mahila Suraksha Samman March' from Bal Bhavan to Rajghat which was participated by over a thousand women. The Chief Minister walked upto ITO along with the protesters carrying placards -- 'we want safety' and 'stop violence against women'.

At Rajghat some of the favourite 'bhajans' of Mahatma Gandhi were played and a minute long silence was observed in memory of the girl. Several people including Dikshit offered floral tributes at Gandhi's memorial.

"When we walk down the road on night we want to feel that we are safe. We don't want to live under the fear of being raped or molested," said Ahana Singh, one of the protestors who joined the march.

"It is not that only because of this incident that we have hit the road. For last few years Delhi is the most unsafe city for women in India. This should change," said Anushka Singh. The protest march was organised by Delhi Commission for Women.

At Jantar Mantar, a modest crowd continued their protest demanding stringent punishment for those involved in the December 16 incident in which the girl was raped allegedly by six men and brutally assaulted. Two men continued their fast at Jantar Mantar in protest against the incident and demanded death sentence for the accused.
15:38  Two held for acid attack on girl in Sringar :   Just in: A girl has been attacked with acid in Sringagar. Two men have been held and a case has been filed. The girl has been hospitalised. Details awaited.

So much for a better, more safe India.

15:30  Delhi gang rape case: Lawyers refuse to defend rapists:  Lawyers at a Delhi court have said they will not defend the six people standing trial for the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student whose case has shocked the country and provoked a national outcry for safety of women. Hearings are expected to begin on Thursday at the Saket district courts, where the Delhi Police will formally present a 1,000-page chargesheet against five men facing the charges. The sixth, believed to be a juvenile, would be tried in a juveniles'' court, but the police are conducting bone tests to determine his age.
15:27  Indian bus rape: Delhi sees rush for guns:  Hundreds of women inquire about gun licences following woman's murder, showing the lack of faith in law enforcement. Read
15:20  Myanmar seeks help to rein in rebels:  In other news: Myanmar has sought India's help in untangling an insurgency knot involving the Kachin Independence Army and the NSCN (Khaplang).The KIA, the armed wing of Kachin Independence Organisation, rules the roost in Kachin state, which also has the presence of NSCN (K), a rebel group led by S.S. Khaplang, a Myanmar-origin Naga. Read
15:05  Dear India, isnt it time to spare her your fake sympathy?:  We are a country of angry, angry people. But we have moved on already. There are no 'breaking news' tickers running on news channels telling the world that the 23-year-old is 'optimistic about her future'. Or that she has just had two teaspoons of apple juice. Or that her father -- who is living on prayers for his raped, brutalised, dying daughter -- has had to muffle his trauma and appear on a TV channel to appeal for peace. Read more
14:59  TMC spokesperson and MP Derek O'Brien still on damage control mode over the dirty dancing incident. O'Brien tweets: In Bengal and in Trinamool there is zero tolerance for anti-women behavior. Zero tolerance means quick,strong action,not vacuous apology.

Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghose Dastidar probably doesn't know what 'anti-women behaviour' means.

Last week, she spoke to a TV channels saying the Park Street rape incident in February was not at all a case of rape. "...That was a different case altogether. That was not at all a rape case. It was a misunderstanding between two parties involved in professional dealings. Between the lady and her client." 
14:49  Ending the culture of rape :  Rape is not about sex."Rape is about violence," writer Gloria Steinem says, "proving 'masculine' superiority; often inserting guns and other objects into women's bodies; playing out hostility to other men by invading the bodies of 'their' females, including old women and babies; occupying wombs with sperm of a conquering group; owning female bodies as the means of reproduction; and raping men and boys to make them as inferior as females." More
14:45  Why NO law against rape will work:  There are at least two reasons why no anti-sexual violence law, however stringent, will work. One is our police. The other is, sadly, ourselves, says's Sumit Bhattacharya. Read
14:34  Blood of Louis XVI found:  In other reads: A team of scientists have said they believe an old gourd contains the blood of French King Louis XVI.The monarch was killed by guillotine by French revolutionaries more than 200 years ago, on 21 January 1793. Read
14:32   India is now being offered help to protect its women. Read
14:29  Naming Delhi gang-rape victim: Decision is not ours:  For rape victims, the trauma doesn't just end with the conviction of the guilty party, it goes beyond that.  To argue that naming rape victims will help fight stigma, is naivete at its best. Read
14:17  Rape sparks womens rush for gun permits:  The brutal bus gang rape on December 16 has sent women scurrying for gun licences in Delhi but activists say nothing will come of it unless police shed their bias against issuing the permits to women.Dealers selling stun guns -- devices that emit an electrical shock to immobilise a potential attacker for a few minutes -- too say their sales have skyrocketed. The buyers are mostly parents of school or college girls, even policemen trying to ensure their daughters' safety, they say.  Read more
14:14  In Mumbai privacy is hard to come by:  In other reads: On Marine Drive, a popular seafront area in Mumbai, you will invariably find a few couples cuddling on the wall facing the sea, seemingly oblivious to the blazing afternoon sun and the endless stream of cars just behind them. In this city of cramped homes and crowded public spaces, these couples will take whatever time alone that they can get, even if it's in full view of others. Read
14:12  PMO push for gender lessons in schools:  The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has written to the HRD ministry asking it to introduce in school textbooks chapters on respect for women as part of moral education.The letter was sent last week while protests raged against the December 16 bus gang rape in Delhi.The PMO has said it has received several suggestions from eminent persons for changes in the textbooks to make students aware of gender sensitivity. Read more
14:09  It's time for India Inc to step up:  Dwarka, is the sad place where the young woman who was raped on a New Delhi bus last month was cremated Sunday morning.The area, on Delhi's western reaches, is both one of the most notorious regions in the city for dumping dead or raped bodies  as well as a preferred residential destination for corporate India, the "executive class." Read
14:05  Gang-rape case: Justice hurried shouldn't be justice buried:  What are the pitfalls in fast-tracking the Delhi gang-rape case?'s Vicky Nanjappa speaks to legal experts to find out how delays can be avoided in the case and yet the demands of justice are met in time. Read
14:02  Khurshid's stay at resort draws ire of green activists:  Drawing the ire of green activists, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has reportedly stayed and celebrated New Year in a private resort, declared "illegal" and directed to be closed by court, in the Bokkapuram forest area coming under the elephant corridor.

The Madras High Court had directed many of the resorts in the region to be closed as they were located in the elephant corridor, following which the electric fencing was removed from area, some months back.

However, the owners have approached the Supreme Court, where the case is pending. The State Revenue department had arranged for Khurshid and his family's stay at the State VIP Guest House in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve as part of protocol but he preferred to stay at the resort "which was declared illegal and directed to be closed," by the Court, forest department sources said.
13:59  Lack of parking space coming in way of more cluster buses:  Despite concerns of pollution and women's safety, the Delhi Transport Corpo-ration (DTC), which runs 5,500 buses every day, has failed to scale up its fleet. The transport department is struggling to increase the number of cluster buses -- monitored by the government but run by private operators -- from 400 in five clusters to 5,500 in 17 clusters. But the plan is on hold because of lack of parking space for these buses. Read more
13:45  Gang-rape: Police to file e-chargesheet for secrecy:  The Delhi police will a e-chargesheet in the gang-rape case to maintain secrecy in the case. Delhi Police will today submit the 1000-page chargesheet in the brutal gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old girl, before the High Court bench.

A senior police official said the chargesheet, which is being vetted by legal experts, has cited 30 witnesses in connection with the December 16 incident in which the physiotherapy student was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi. The victim died in a Singapore hospital on Saturday morning.
13:00  Delhi BJP seeks Ashok Chakra for gang-rape victim:  Just in: Politics begins on the Delhi gang-rape. The Delhi BJP has written a letter to PM Dr Manmohan Singh seeking the Ashok Chakra for the gang-rape victim. The award is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. 
12:58  TMC MP Derek O'Brien in damage-control mode: For Trinamool, cultural sensibilities and gender sensibilities are paramount.After 34 years of mocking,we are committed to redeem these.

At the Trinamool Congress' founding day party on Tuesday, party workers threw money and heckled hired female dancers. The incident took place at South 24 Parganas district. The celebrations that took place right opposite the local police station, were sponsored by the Trinamool Congress party and organised by Trinamool zila parishad member Meer Taheer Ali.
12:53  Urgently needed: Reforms in the political class :   When a political party puts up candidates with criminal charges, it results in the alienation of large sections of people from the political class and politics itself. Read

(The writer, Navin Chawla was Chief Election Commissioner from April 2009 to July 2010)
12:50  Another anti-rape blog: The Uncouth India. Read
12:45  The Unspeakable Truth About Rape in India:  Sonia Faleiro's op-ed piece about for the New York Times. "For 24 years in New Delhi, a city where sexual harassment is as regular as mealtime. Every day, somewhere in the city, it crosses the line into rape." Read more
12:42  Mamata govt hires pvt agency to monitor media reports:   Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's government will put under scrutiny what the media writes, shows or puts on the web. The TMC-led government is hiring a private agency to scan all reports on the government appearing in the print, electronic and web variety and submit daily reports to the chief minister. The social media, too, will be under the scanner. More
12:39  Ray of hope for rape victims: Speedy trials :  A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir will hear tomorrow the PIL which also sought suspension of MPs and MLAs in case a charge sheet is filed against them for crime against women. In her PIL, retired IAS officer Promilla Shanker has pleaded with the court to direct the government to set up fast-track courts in all states for expeditious trial of rape cases. She also submitted that cases of rape and crime against women and children be investigated by lady police officials and trial be conducted by lady judges.
12:35  More on the driver of the bus, Ram Singh, 33: Bus driver for two schools in Delhi and Noida each. He is the main accused. A local bully in south Delhi's Ravi Das slum cluster, he was drunk at the time of the incident and triggered the altercation which snowballed into the horror. He was tracked using CCTV footage of the bus.
12:25  Del gang rape: 2 weeks on, case against bus owner:  Over two weeks on, a case has finally been registered against the bus driver in the Delhi gang-rape case. All the six accused have been charged with murder, kidnap and assault. 
12:18  Derek O'Brien: Strictest action against party worker:   Derek O'Brien on Twitter: On Jan 1, thousands of events marked Trinamool's 16th birthday.At one event there is an abhorrent incident involving ladies dancing. It was an isolated incident and the strictest action will be taken against any party worker involved. This is absolutely non-negotiable.

Here's the context: At the Trinamool Congress' founding day party on Tuesday, party workers threw money and heckled hired female dancers. The incident took place at South 24 Parganas district. The celebrations that took place right opposite the local police station, were sponsored by the Trinamool Congress party and organised by Trinamool zila parishad member Meer Taheer Ali.
12:06  Naming anti-rape law after girl will be an honour: Family:  A day after Union Minister Shashi Tharoor favoured naming the revised anti-rape law after Delhi gang-rape victim, her family members today said they have no objection to it and the move would be an honour to the girl.

The family members of the 23-year-old girl said that "if her name is made public for this purpose, they have no objection to it".

Talking to PTI, the father and brother of the girl said that "if the government names the revised anti-rape law after her, they have no objection and it would be an honour to her".

Tharoor had yesterday favoured making public the identity of the gang-rape victim wondering what interest was served by keeping her name under wraps. Tharoor, the Minister of State for Human Resources Development, had also said the revised anti-rape legislation should be named after the victim if her parents do not have any objection.

"Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?" he asked on micro-blogging site Twitter. "Unless her parents object, she should be honoured&the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name,not just a symbol," Tharoor, who is known for speaking his mind, said.
12:04  Pak singer lashes out against 'zinda lash' label for rape victims:  Sushma Swaraj may have mercilessly labelled rape victims as 'Zinda Lash', but people, for sure, haven't taken that kindly. Bakht Arif, from Pakistan, reprises 'Zombie', the legendary song that the Cranberries created to protest against the Warrington bomb attacks. Called 'Zinda Lash', this one is against all misogynists and sexists. Read more
11:59  Delhi CM to flag off silent anti-rape march today:   Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit will flag off a silent march against on women's safety today. The march is set to begin from Bal Bhawan and end at Rajghat. Cabinet ministers are expected to join the protests. The march is being organised by the Delhi commission for women. 
11:46  The Supreme Court will hear a PIL tomorrow seeking the suspension of MPs and MLAs in case a charge sheet is filed against them for crime against women.
11:41  Jail inmates observe silence in memory of gang rape victim:   The inmates of coastal district central prisons of Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam observed a five-minute silence in the memory of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim.

The prisoners condemned attack on girls while condoling the death of the 23-year-old victim, who died last month at a hospital in Singapore while undergoing treatment for the injuries she sustained following the rape and brutal assault on her by six men in a moving bus in Delhi. 
11:37  Assailants in bus tried to run over Delhi gang-rape victim:  Nirbhaya was not only beaten up and brutalized in a moving bus, the six accused would have run over her, had her friend not pulled her aside in the nick of time.

The revelation came from top sources in Delhi giving the final touches to the chargesheet that is expected to be filed by the weekend if not on January 3.The police chargesheet in the case, sources said, is likely to give details of the horrific brutality of the six men and the valiant efforts of the 23-year-old and her friend to fight them off. As she was being pinned down and raped, she bit three of the assaulters.

Meanwhile, the owner of the private chartered bus, Dinesh Yadav, has gone missing from his Noida residence.North district police have registered a case against him at the Civil Lines police station for filing a false government affidavit.

The bite marks on the three accused men are likely to be part of the Delhi Police's evidence, the sources said.Sources said the chargesheet would detail how and when the bus had arrived near Munirka bus stand on December 16, with three of the six accused sitting on passengers' seats to give the impression of a normal bus journey. This was the primary reason why the girl and her male friend boarded the bus to reach home after watching a film. More on the TOI.
11:32  Nifty touches 6000 mark, first time since Jan 2011:  Just in: The Nifty hits the 6000 mark for the first time since January 2011.  Details awaited. 
11:31  17-year-old raped by two in Delhi on December 31 night:  Just hours before the Delhi gang-rape victim's ashes were immersed in the Ganges, a 17-year-old girl studying in class XI of a prominent south Delhi school was allegedly sedated and raped by two men at a New Year's party in the upscale Safdarjung Enclave area of south Delhi, police sources on Tuesday said.

The two accused, who work in leading IT companies, were arrested late at night after the girl approached the police. They live in Sarojini Nagar with their families. Both are in their late 20s. While one is a computer engineer with an IT company, the other works in the HR department of a blue-chip tech and consulting multinational, an officer said. Read more
11:23  Pakistan, India swap lists of nuclear facilities:  Meanwhile, Pakistan and India began the new year by exchanging lists of their respective nuclear facilities as part of an agreement which bars the two neighbours from attacking each others' nuclear installations. The exchanges have taken place on the first day of the year since 1992. Pakistan and India have been developing missiles of varying ranges since they conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. US intelligence estimates in 2011 put the number of nuclear weapons developed by Pakistan at 90 to 110. Analysts say its nuclear arsenal is the fastest growing in the world. Read
11:18  In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Narnaul braved the lowest temperature with a minimum of 1.9 degree Celsius. Churu in Rajasthan also recorded a minimum temperature of 1.9 degree Celsius, 2 degrees below normal.  

An unabated cold wave also swept through Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, leaving residents distressed and forcing them to stay within the confines of their houses.
11:16  4.8 C! No respite from cold for Delhi :  There was no respite from cold and dense fog for Delhiites today as mercury dipped two degrees below normal to stay at 4.8 degree Celsius.

A thick blanket of fog accompanied by icy winds left people in the national capital shivering. Flight operations were also disrupted as there was a drop in runway visibility.

Dense fog partially disrupted the schedule of over 30 flights, including diversion of an international flight to Mumbai. Yesterday, the minimum was recorded at four degrees Celsius, three notches below normal, making it the coldest morning of the season. The maximum was registered at 15.3 degree Celsius, five degrees below normal.
11:13  The first of five fast-track courts to try rape cases will be inaugurated today. 
11:06  SC to hear PIL on fast-track court for rape :  The Supreme Court agrees to hear a PIL seeking directions to the government to ensure safety of women and to conduct fast-track court proceedings in all rape cases.
10:50  SC upholds Guj Lokayukta appointment; blow to Modi:  

In a setback for Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court has upheld the appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta Justice R A Mehta.  


In 2011, Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal had appointed Justice Mehta, which was later challenged by the Modi government.

10:38  I fulfilled my election promise: Obama:  
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he had fulfilled a campaign promise to make the US tax system fairer with the deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis. 

"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed," the president said. 

"Let me repeat. We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic, far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff." 
10:35  US averts fiscal cliff; Obama to ink new law:  
Overcoming Republican resistance, the US House of Representatives late Tuesday night passed the "fiscal cliff" bill by 257 to 167 votes, ending a dramatic New Year's Day showdown over income taxes and deep federal spending cuts.

The bill, which was passed by the Senate (89 to 8 votes) in the wee hours of the New Year, would now go to the White House for US President Barack Obama to sign into law, which would end months of anxious moments with regard to fiscal cliff.

Had not passed, fiscal cliff would have resulted in increased tax rates for more than 98 per cent of Americans. 

The passage of the legislation by the Republican-majority House was not before some anxious moments during the day, when some of the Republican leaders were mulling bringing amendment to the bill passed by the Senate, but gave up as they were unable to muster enough support. 

The Senate bill in itself was a result of the days of negotiations between the Democrats, Republicans and the White House and required the services of US Vice President Joe Biden.
10:22  Dense fog causes mayhem at Delhi airport:  
Operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi were affected on Wednesday after dense fog  disrupted the schedule of over 30 flights, including diversion of an international flight to Mumbai.

Air India's flight (AI 314) from Hong Kong was diverted to Mumbai, while seven flights were cancelled on Wednesday, either due to poor weather at destination or due to operational reasons. 

Dense fog started to descend at the airport around 11 pm on Tuesday night and it thickened between 3.30 am and 5 am on Wednesday morning leading to drop in runway visibility to less than 25 metres at the third runway, forcing authorities to suspend operations on that runway, airport sources said.

09:57  Rupee up 37 paise against dollar in early trade:  
The rupee strengthened by 37 paise to trade at fresh two-week high of Rs 54.31 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on increased dollar selling by exporters and banks amid sustained foreign capital inflows.

A higher opening in the domestic equity market and the euro's strength against the dollar overseas also supported the rupee, dealers said. 

The rupee had gained 31 paise to close at nearly two-week high of 54.68 against the American currency in Tuesday's trade.
09:38  Sensex gains 144 points in early trade:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday gained nearly 144 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds amid a firming Asian trend.

The 30-share barometer rose by 143.57 points, or 0.73 per cent to 19,724.38 with all the sectoral indices, led by realty and metal, trading in positive zone with gains up to 1.25 per cent. The index had gained 154.10 in yesterday's trade.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 41.25 points, or 0.69 per cent per cent, to 5,992.10. 

Brokers said the sentiment remained strong on sustained inflows from foreign funds into equity market amid a firming trend in the Asian region as US poised to avert fiscal cliff. 

Banking sector stocks continued their upward march on expectations of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India. Stocks of Bank of India gained 0.71 per cent, State Bank of India shot up by 1.20 per cent, while ICICI Bank up 0.91 per cent.
09:04  SC verdict on Gujarat Lokayukta's appointment today:  
The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict in the case concerning the Gujarat Lokayukta's appointment today. 

The apex court will decide if the appointment of Justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta by Gujarat Governor Kamala Beniwal is legal. 

Justice R A Metha was appointed by the Governor in August 2011.

In a tussle that pitches Chief Minister Narendra Modi against the Gujarat Governor, the state government had challenged the Lokayukta's appointment in the Gujarat high court, terming it illegal and accusing the Governor of not consulting the government. 

The high court upheld the Lokayukta's appointment on Tuesday and slammed Modi. 

While delivering his order, Gujarat High Court judge Justice Sahai, said, "The chief minister acted under a false impression that he could turn down the superiority and primacy of the opinion of the Chief Justice, which was binding. The spiteful and challenging action demonstrates the false sense of invincibility." 
09:02  Delhi gang-rape case: Autopsy report to come today:  
The 1000-page chargesheet prepared by the Delhi Police in the horrific Delhi gangrape case will be presented before a high court bench on Wednesday, a day before it is submitted at the Saket district court which will hear the case. 

The police has said it will be charging all the accused for gangrape, murder, destruction of evidence and dacoity.

They will go through the entire sequence of events that took place on the night of December 16.

The post-mortem report of the Delhi braveheart is expected to come from the Singapore hospital on Wednesday. 

That's not all. Five fast-track courts for rape cases will start functioning in Delhi. These courts will be notified as soon as the Delhi high court re-opens after vacations on Wednesday.
08:33  1,193 cars torched on New Year's Eve in France:  
A New Year's Eve tradition for some in France of torching empty, parked cars has continued. 

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that 1,193 vehicles were burned overnight around the country, where the stunt began in the 1990s. 

There was no way to compare this figure to recent ones because the conservative government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy stopped making the numbers public while he was in office. But the rate of burned cars was apparently steady.

On Dec 31, 2009, 1,147 vehicles were burned. 

For some, the decision of France's current Socialist government to resume making public figures of New Year's Eve's torched cars is unwise. 

Bruno Beschizza, a security chief for Sarkozy's UMP party, said on iTele TV that publishing the numbers motivates youths to commit such crimes. 
08:32  Ten dead in Angola New Year stampede:  
Ten people, including four children, died and 120 were hurt in a stampede at an evangelical vigil in the Angolan capital Luanda on New Year's Eve, Angolan news agency Angop reported. 

It quoted civil protection spokesman Faustino Sebastiao as saying the victims were crushed by the crowd and asphyxiated at the entrance to the Cidadela Desportiva stadium after only two of the four gates had been opened. 

Twelve of the injured were still in hospital yesterday. 

"We were expecting 70,000 people but far more turned up," Ferner Batalha, a bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, was quoted as saying. 

He said the pentecostalist church had told the authorities about the event and requested that Red Cross workers attend.

Lina Ali, director of clinical services at Americo Boavida hospital, confirmed that the victims had died of asphyxiation, saying 70 people had been hospitalised.

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was founded in Brazil in 1977.
08:32  Virbhadra Singh resigns as HPCC chief:  
Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has resigned from the post of the state Congress Committee president. 

Singh, who had hinted to resign as HPCC chief immediately after taking over as Chief Minister, has sent his resignation to party high command, AICC General Secretary and incharge of party affairs for Himachal Pradesh, Birender Singh said. 

In keeping with the "one man one post" principle, his resignation was a natural corollary after assuming the office of Chief Minister for the sixth time. 

Virbhadra has remained HPCC chief thrice but this time his tenure was the shortest, just four months. 

He had taken over as HPCC chief on August 29 this year replacing Kaul Singh Thakur and search for new president has begun after the resignation of Singh. 
08:30  Top headlines this hour:  Osmania Univ student murdered; former classmate suspect 

Gangrape case: Police to include Singapore doc as witness 

Spl task force to look into safety issues of Delhi women

Pak pacers sweat it out in the nets at Eden 

Cricket commentator Martin-Jenkins dead

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