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Bengal: 8 killed, 30 injured in major bus mishap

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January 10, 2013

22:59  Complaint against Togadia for provocative remarks:  

A complaint was today lodged against VHP leader Praveen Togadia for allegedly making provocative statements against a community near the historic Charminar in Hyderabad, police said.         


Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Togadia had made some inflammatory remarks against the community during his visit to Hyderabad last month when the Old City was tense over a row on Bhagyalakshmi temple, police said quoting the complainant, Salahuddin Affan, secretary of Darsgha-Jihad-o-Shahadat, a local organisation.         


"No case has been registered so far and we are seeking legal opinion," a senior police officer said.

22:58  Bengal: 8 killed, 30 injured in major bus mishap:  

Eight persons were killed and around 30 people injured when a bus collided with a truck at Heria in East Midnapore district today, police said. The bus was going to the tourist town of Digha from Kolkata when it collided with the truck coming from the opposite direction at Heria about 70 km from Kolkata. After the collision the bus turned on its side and the passengers were trapped under it, they said.   


Local people, police and administration helped the trapped passengers come out from the bus. The injured have been admitted to Tamluk and Kanthi hospital and the seriously injured have been referred to Kolkata, they added.

21:31  Court rejects bail applications of TDP MLAs:  Karimnagar Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate dismissed bail applications two Telugu Desam Party legislators and three others, on Thursday. 

The TDP MLAs Vijaya Ramana Rao, who is also TDP district president, Suddala Devaiah TDP MLA from Choppadandi and three more TDP leaders namely, Karra Vijender Reddy, Gopu Ailaiah and Nimmakayala Edukondalu were arrested and sent to judicial remand.

The arrested TDP leaders filed bail applications before Magistrate C Rajender Reddy and the advocates appearing for the TDP leaders pleaded for bail. 

However, as charges against the TDP leaders included Section 3 of the Prevention of Public Properties Act (PDPP Act), which is non-bailable, their bail applications were dismissed.
20:49  Pak may grant MFN status later this month: Official:  India expects Pakistan to announce elimination of negative list of items later this month that will pave the way for full normalisation of bilateral trade and accordance of MFN status to New Delhi. Pakistan has missed the deadline of December 31, 2012, for phasing out the negative list regime.

A government official said that Pakistan's Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Secretary Munir Qureshi are coming to India to participate in the three-day Annual Partnership Summit in Agra. Ministers and officials from several countries are expected to attend the summit that begins on January 27.
20:28  Obama inauguration tickets reach $2,000 online:  AP reports: Tickets to President Barack Obama's inauguration this month are supposed to be free, but they're being sold on eBay and Craigslist for up to $2,000 apiece.

Efforts by congressional offices and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which are distributing tickets to inaugural events, haven't stopped online entrepreneurs. "These tix are going like hot cakes, and for FAR more than I am listing them for on here," boasted one anonymous seller in a post yesterday on Craigslist.

The seller, who did not return an email from The Associated Press, offered two seats to the January 21 swearing-in at the Capitol for $4,000.
20:16  Woman attempts suicide by jumping before Delhi Metro, loses legs:  A 28-year-old woman, who was believed to be mentally disturbed, today allegedly attempted suicide by jumping before a moving train at a Metro station in east Delhi. The woman was rushed to a GTB Hospital in Dilshad Garden in east Delhi where doctors amputated both her legs.

The woman, who resides in Dilshad Garden, was waiting for a Metro train at Welcome station at the very beginning of the platform and CCTV could not capture her image.

As the train approached the platform, the woman jumped before the train but the driver applied emergency brakes.

The woman was immediately taken off the platform and rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to her leg, sources said. The incident around noon led to delay in services on the Line 1 (Dilshad Garden to Rithala)
20:12  Norway case: HC gives custody of children to mother:  The Calcutta high court, in an interim order, today allowed mother Sagarika Bhattacharya to take custody of her two children, who were entrusted to the care of their uncle by a Norway court.

 The court observed that the manner in which Sagarika took her two children, Abhigyan and Aishwarya from their uncle, Arunabhash Bhattacharya, was not desired, but it had to follow the law which acknowledged that the mother was the natural guardian.

It also observed that the uncle of the two children, who were not present in court, took proper care of them and could meet them once a week.
20:08  Guj keen to promote defence industry: Modi :  Stating that Gujarat was keen to promote defence industry, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today invited private companies to set up their units in the state. 

"Gujarat with good infrastructure is the best suited for the development of defence industry and we want to start in big way," he said.

He was speaking at a conference on 'leveraging opportunities to create capabilities in Defence and Homeland security manufacturing', as part of the 6th Vibrant Gujarat Summit(VGS) in Ahmedabad.

Observing that a state can also play an important role in setting up defence capabilities of the country, Modi said that his government was planning to formulate a policy in this regard.
19:42  'Life of Pi' in the race for the Best Picture Oscar:  The Ang Lee directed India-set drama 'Life of Pi' in the racefor the Best Picture Oscar at 85th Academy Awards nominations announced today.
19:24  Unclaimed suitcase creates panic in Hyderabad:  An unclaimed suitcase found near the 8th battalion of Andhra Pradesh Special Police at Kondapur on city outskirts today triggered panic in the area, the police said.

The personnel who found the suitcase alerted the Ramgopalpet police immediately following which a bomb squad was pressed into service. They recovered a fire arm with 12 live bullets in it from the suitcase, a senior officer said.

The suitcase was stolen two days ago from Begumpet area and belongs to one builder, who had lodged a complaint with Ramgopalpet police, the officer added.
19:14  Pak army violates ceasefire yet again :  The Pakistan army once again violated ceasefire in Poonch sector this evening, and fired at Indian posts.
18:46  Gang-rape victim's village mock 'temporary' development as helipad and 10-person office are built for chief minister's visit. Read more.
18:38  Afzal Guru clings to life after Delhi rape death:  The Home Ministry has not yet taken a decision on the mercy petition of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as it was busy in handling the situation arising out of the gang rape of a girl in Delhi.

Asked whether any decision has been taken on Guru's pending clemency plea, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the relevant file has come to him and he wanted to send the government's recommendation on the mercy to the President as soon as possible.

"But in between, the rape case happened and I had to devote a considerable amount of my time to it. I will take a decision. But I will have to go into details. When the country's President sends something to me for the second time, that means I have to go deep into the case and study it in detail and then send the recommendation," he said.
18:34  Another soldier killed by Indian forces: Pakistan Army:   The Pakistani military said Indian troops shot and killed a Pakistani soldier on Thursday, the third deadly cross-border incident reported in five days in the disputed Kashmir region, reports the Dawn.

"Pakistan Army soldier, Havildar Mohyuddin, embraced shahadat (martyrdom) due to unprovoked firing by Indian troops at Hotspring sector in Battal at 2:40 pm today,' the military said in a text message to reporters.

"Today, India troops resorted to unprovoked firing at a Pakistani post named Kundi,' it added. India alleged that two of its soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops on Tuesday, including one who was beheaded. Pakistan denied the accusation. More
18:23  Do's & dont's posters in Delhi schools, colleges:  Go home directly after school hours and inform parents if they are going out. This and few other advices are seen in posters by Delhi Police outside educational institutions in some areas of the national capital.

The posters appeared in front of some colleges and schools in southeast Delhi only. Delhi Police headquarters said it has not authorised any such posters.

The do's and dont's poster came as an awareness campaign launched against the backdrop of the gangrape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus last month. She died on December 29.

The poster advises girl students not to lose self confidence, inform Police Control Room about any suspicious people and never remain silent over harassment.

-- After school, go home directly. If going out, inform parents.
-- If going to any friend's place inform parents.
-- The bag should contain a piece of paper with their address and phone number.
-- Do not talk to strangers or take lift from them.
-- Do not go out of school premises without teachers' permission.
-- Do not take food, cold drinks or gifts from strangers.
18:03  Pak refuses to allow Indian trucks to cross Line of Control:  Amid the tension between India and Pakistan over the brutal killing of two Indian jawans in Kashmir, cross-border trade was affected today.25 trucks from India were not able to cross the Line of Control after Pakistan refused to let them through. Local Indian officials were not able to get through to their counterparts in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. More on
17:48  And if you aren't aware of it already, here's why Arnab Goswami is trending. Social activist Shabnam Hashmi writes about what happens when you refuse to be a panelist on Times Now. Read
17:41  Delhi gang-rape suspects 'tortured to force confession':  A potential lawyer for three of the men charged with the abduction, rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi says his clients have been tortured and coerced into admitting the crime.

Amid heavy security, five suspects appeared in court in Delhi for a second time on Thursday, before the case was adjourned until Monday. No decision was taken on moving the case to a fast-track trial. Read more
17:12  'Boob blogger' who posts daily cleavage pic become sensation:  A brunette has become an internet sensation after launching a blog on which she posts a photograph of her impressive cleavage daily.

The woman has never revealed her face, leading to speculation about who she is and whether or not Alicia Young is even her real name, the Daily Mail reported.Her site - Los Escotes De Alicia , which translates as Alicia's Low-Cut Tops - is believed to be based in Valencia, Spain, and has already got over three million hits since its launch in November.

The mystery blogger, who claims to be 31 and is believed to be of British origin, posts photographs of herself while engaged in a number of activities, from eating and drinking to reading and hanging Xmas decorations.
17:09  Airport Metro Express to undergo safety test on Jan 15, 16:  Moving a step towards resumption of services, Delhi's showcase Airport Metro Express Corridor will undergo a two-day mandatory safety inspection by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) next week.

The 23-km corridor connecting the city's business centre of Connaught Place with the Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport was shut down temporarily in July last year after cracks were found in the civil structure.

After undergoing extensive repairs for the past six months, the high-speed corridor is now ready for inspection by the CMRS whose green signal is necessary for resumption of services.
16:58  Northern Army Commander briefs J&K Governor on LoC attack:  Northern Command Chief Lt General K T Parnaik has briefed Governor N N Vohra over the killing of two jawans by intruding Pakistani troops in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt Gen Parnaik met the Governor at the Raj Bhawan in Jammu last evening and briefed him in detail about Tuesday's incident on the Line of Control at Mankot Sector in Mendhar tehsil in which the two jawans were killed and as many were injured, an official release said here today.

It is likely that another meeting would take place between the Governor and the Army Commander in the next few days on the matter, it said.
16:41  Meanwhile, at the Cabinet meeting today, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today raised the matter of disputes between the Union Ministry of Environment and the National Highway Authority of India as reported in the media. Many Union Ministers had a broad smile on their faces. 
16:39  Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today held the entire Union Cabinet speechless during a presentation on the Indira Awas Yojana.  

The minister made the 30-minute presentation without referring to any notes. When he concluded his presentation, ministers, almost without exception, thumped their desks in appreciation.
16:33  Visa applications of Pak players received today:  The Indian High Commission in Islamabad today said that it had received the visa applications of the nine Pakistani players bound for the inaugural Hockey India League only today and will issue them visas "as quickly as possible".

A question mark cropped up over the participation of the Pakistan players in the league when none of the nine players contracted with four HIL franchisees arrived in the country till yesterday.

According to media reports, the visas of the players could have been put on hold because of the alleged killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani armed forces at the LOC on Tuesday.
16:31  How to report a rape in India:   Last month, a brutal gangrape and assault on a 23-year-old woman in Delhi resulted in her death, while a woman in neighboring Punjab committed suicide after being allegedly humiliated by police as she tried to file a gang rape complain. These episodes drew attention to how difficult it is to report rape cases in India. Read
16:18  NO change in visa policy for Pakistan: Shinde:  Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde holds a press briefing on security developments in the capital. He says a prominent Jaish militant was killed, even as a breakthrough has been made in the Malegaon terror attack case. In the capital specific women's helplines to be prominently displayed, patrolling on motorcycles to be tightened, says Shinde and claimed that he had reviewed security measures in Delhi yesterday. "NGOs and ex-servicemen to oversee women's security issues," announces Shinde. 

On the Latehar Naxal attack, Shinde confirms that a bomb was indeed placed in the abdomen of the CRPF personnel's body. "Naxals keep changing tactics constantly, we will be prepared for them," he says.
16:06  PC: Rail fare hike fair game for opposition:  Justifying the hike in rail fares, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said it was a "sound economic decision" given the financial health of railways. Chidambaram also sought to make light the opposition criticism of the decision saying it was fair game for them to to oppose the fare hike for the sake of opposition.

"I think these are sound economic decisions. I think we should not politicise these decisions. Of course, economic decisions are taken by a political government but they do not cease to be economic decisions," he told reporters in Delhi.

He was asked to comment on the Opposition criticism of the decision to hike passenger rail fares across the board from January 21 and its demand for immediate rollback.

"Railway fare hike is an economic decision. Railway fares have not been hiked for 10 years," he said. Chidambaram said Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had briefed the media yesterday and explained why it was unavoidable to increase the passenger fares given the state of health of the finances of railways.

"I think it is fair game for opposition to oppose the fare hike for the sake of opposition. But, the last time railway fares were hiked was by the NDA government when Nitish Kumar was the Railways Minister," he said. Chidambaram said there was no proposal before the Cabinet to increase diesel prices
15:35  Update on the Delhi gang-rape case: The case has not been sent to the fast-track court yet. 
15:31  46 years on, ex-CM says Centre rigged Goa 'Independence":  Fifty one years after Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule, a former Chief Minister has raked up a controversy alleging that the "opinion poll" held 46 years ago to decide on making it a separate state or merge with Maharashtra was "rigged." Shashikala Kakodkar, a former state

Chief Minister herself and daughter of Goa's first CM Dayanand Bandodkar, claimed yesterday that the "opinion poll" conducted by the Indira Gandhi-led Central government on January 16, 1967, was "rigged." Read
15:29  Curfew continues in Dhule for the fifth day:  Curfew in parts of this strife-torn north Maharashtra town following Sunday's violent clashes between two communities and police firing continued for the fifth day today.

"The curfew imposed in Machhi Bazaar and Madhavpura areas is likely to be relaxed at 4 pm after a review of the situation," a police officer said. Five persons had been killed in the clashes over a trivial matter and the subsequent police firing.

Meanwhile, a Shiv Sena delegation of 14 MLAs led by Diwakar Raote has arrived here to take stock of the situation, Dhule district party president Atul Sonawane said.
15:27  Two trains collide in Switzerland, several injured: police:  Two passenger trains collided at a train station in northern Switzerland this morning, injuring several people, according to police, as media reported at least 30 had been hurt. "There are injuries. We are not commenting on the number or severity of the injuries," a local police spokeswoman in the canton of Schaffhouse told AFP.
14:58  Free speech no matter how ugly must be encouraged:  We should encourage everyone to have their say so we can take a deep and hard look at what ails Indian society. That's the Mint column in the aftermath of Asaram Bapu's now famous speech. Read
14:50  Norway kids: HC gives interim custody to mom:  The Calcutta High court has given interim custody to the mother of the two children in the Norway custody battle. The court has ruled that the kids, son Abhigyan and daughter Aishwarya, were to be with their mother Sagarika Bhattcharya till the case was on. The uncle, who the Norway court had granted custody to, will be allowed to visiting rights.
14:47  National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon addressing the media on the killing of the two jawans and the Pakistani incursion "The international community can only be a facilitator, the peoples of the two countries have to decide their future. There are no military solutions to this kind of problem."

National Security Advisors of all the BRICS nations met in New Delhi today to outline the rapidly growing synergy between the member nations. Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa come together to form the BRICS nations.

14:40  Pakistan has killed more than 200 Indian jawans in the last four years, when the countries have not been at war. 
14:36  Barkha Dutt tweets on the Latehar incident: Bombs planted on bodies of dead CRPF jawans by Naxals. Isn't this against the rules of engagement as well? Where's our anger?
14:34  Pakistan, of course, says that it is committed to a dialogue with India and normalising relations and hopes that the ceasefire violation won't disrupt the peace process.  
14:20  India REJECTS UN probe into killing of jawans:  Just in: Finance minister P Chidambaram has turned down a UN probe into the savage killings of two jawans by Pakistani troops. Chidambaram said there were no ceasefire violations by the Indian army and India does not want to internationalise the issue.

Pakistan on Wednesday denied involvement of its troops in an attack in which two Indian soldiers were killed and said it was prepared to hold investigations through the UN Military Observer Group on the recent ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.
14:06  Gang rape: Girl's family deny delay in police help:  Update on the gang-rape case: Contrary to the claims made by the girl's friend, the family of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim today said that the girl had "never complained of any laxity" on the part of Delhi Police in rushing her to hospital.

"During the treatment, she never complained of any laxity on the part of police in rushing her to hospital... In fact, after the incident, the Delhi police had extended its cooperation," brother and father of the victim said.

The male friend of the Delhi gang-rape victim on January 4 had severely criticised the Delhi Police for its tardy response and bemoaned public apathy after both of them had been badly injured and thrown out of the bus after the girl was gang-raped by six men.

The Home Ministry had ordered a probe into the allegation of the friend of the Delhi gang-rape victim that police response to their distress call after the incident was slow.

A joint-secretary level officer of the Ministry will investigate the veracity of the claim by the software engineer that even after reaching the spot here on the night of December 16, the police were arguing over jurisdiction of the case and were hesitant to lift the 23-year-old girl, losing crucial time, a senior Home Ministry official said on January 7.
14:03  Only one of three bodies had a bomb: MHA:  MHA sources now confirm that of the three bodies of CRPF jawans brought to the Ranchi hospital for an autopsy, only one had a bomb. As we said earlier, the bomb showed up in an x-ray before the autopsy was conducted. The bomb disposal squad are now trying to defuse the bomb, which is likely to go off at the minimum pressure. 
13:54   It is still unclear whether the bomb was inside one body or whether there were three different bombs inside as many bodies. The bombs are believed to be crude IED devices.
13:54  Fuel hike likely next week; diesel, LPG to go up :   Just in: Fuel prices likely to be hiked next week. Diesel prices to go up by Rs 450/litre, LPG by Rs 100. The fuel hike would help counter the Rs 160,000 crore deficit, says the government. The hike has got the nod of Sonia Gandhi and the PMO.
13:51  Latehar: Bomb inside security personnel's body :  Bombs were recovered from the bodies of three of the 10 security personnel brought for autopsy at a Ranchi hospital today, reports CNN IBN. The doctors conducting the autopsy have called the bomb disposal squad. The Ranchi SSP said the X-ray revealed a bomb inside the bodies. Home ministry sources said the bombs could go off with minimum pressure.

At least 17 security personnel and two Maoists were killed in the ongoing gun battle, which started on Monday at Karmatiya forest in Jharkhand's Latehar district.

Around 300 CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar jawans went deep into the Karmatiya jungles, about 250 km from Ranchi as part of a combing operation when Maoists started indiscriminate firing from tree tops and hills.Kranti Kumar, superintendent of police, said two soldiers were still missing.

Acting on a tip-off that a large number of Maoists had assembled in the jungle, four companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) rushed to the spot to nab them. But they were ambushed on the way.

"We received information that nearly 250 Maoist cadres, including some senior members, have assembled there. We went to catch them. But Maoist got wind of our campaign. They ambushed us. A fierce gun battle took place," Kumar said. The ultras blew up bodies of two security personnel by blasting landmine. In that blast three civilians were also wounded."
13:48   Maoist tactics during Latehar gunbattle evokes memories of acclaimed Bosnian war film. Read
13:36  Malegaon blast: Sadhvi has breast cancer :   Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast and the Sunil Joshi murder case, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a report from the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital in Bhopal.

A mammography test on her confirmed the ailment yesterday, doctors attending on her said. Doctors at the hospital have advised her to get admitted for further treatment, which she has refused.

The sadhvi is one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blasts case of September 29, 2008, in which six persons were killed and 100 others injured.

On January 19, 2009, Maharashtra police filed a charge sheet for the Malegaon blast. According to the charge sheet, Lt Col Prasad Purohit was the main conspirator who provided the explosives and Pragya arranged for the
persons who planted the explosives.
13:25  Rs 15 lakh, house, job for jawan's widow: MP govt :  NDTV'S Nitin Gokhale tweets: MP CM Shivraj Chauhan announces Rs 15 lakh for Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh's family, a job for his wife, a government house and a memorial. Waiting for UP to follow suit

Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh was one of two jawans killed by Pakistani troops near the Line of Control in Kashmir on Tuesday. At his Dadhiya village, in eastern Madhya Pradesh, his fellow-soldier Sandeep Singh, who accompanied the body, described the martyr's last moments. Sudhakar's last words before he fell prey to bullet wounds, were "Bharat Mata ki Jai (Glory to Mother India)," he said. He remembers the martyr as a great leader and good friend. -- NDTV.
13:14  DMK to take up rail fare hike with PM:   The DMK has now said it will take up the rail fare hike with the PM and won't support any move that is anti poor. 
13:02  Army will 'pay back in kind' for soldiers' killings at right time:  The Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, conveyed a very tough message to his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday when they spoke for the second time in 48 hours. The Indian Army has decided to play it cool and  despite the grave provocation by Pakistan in killing two soldiers and beheading one of them, the Army will not respond in anger, senior commanders have said. Read the report on
12:47  Maya wants roll back of 'anti-poor' rail fare hike :  BSP chief Mayawati has demanded that the rail fare hike be rolled back and that it was anti-poor and anti-common man. The Central Government's decision to hike railway fares after almost a decade has upset passengers across India. The government says the fare hike was needed for maintenance. Read
12:41  An ambitious woman from a Delhi neighborhood of migrants:  Groups of women huddled around makeshift fires on a wet mud-lane, surrounded by partially constructed houses on both sides, in Mahavir Enclave Part II in Delhi.

They winced as the smoke went in to their eyes, and glanced towards the locked house with a green steel door, a barred window and white brick walls, as they remembered the young woman from their neighborhood, who has suddenly become a symbol of India's dire treatment of women. Read
12:31  National security advisors of BRICS nations meet in New Delhi:  India hosted the first ever stand-alone meeting of the National Security Advisors of all the BRICS nations in New Delhi today to outline the rapidly growing synergy between the member nations.Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa come together to form the BRICS nations.

The BRICS NSA's have met on the sidelines of each summit. Russia hosted a formal meeting of BRIC NSAs in May 2009, when South Africa had not then been included in the grouping, to discuss the security implications of the global financial and economic crisis.
12:29  Behead 40 Pakistani soldiers for our two: Shiv Sena:   Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today strongly condemned the ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District and sought a "befitting reply" from India to the killing of two Indian soldiers.

"If our two soldiers are beheaded, we should behead their 40 soldiers... If such brutal attack takes place without any war it will demoralise our soldiers and they won't be able to fight for the country," Raut said.

Asserting that Pakistani cricketers and artistes must not be allowed to play or perform in India, Raut said: "You (Pakistan) play cricket matches here, go back and then kill our soldiers."We should put an end to the ongoing talks with Pakistan," he added. Raut had earlier demanded the resignation of Defence Minister AK Antony over the incident.
12:27  'Rail fare hike needed for maintenance of public services':  The government has said it had no choice but to hike railway fares as maintenance of public services comes at a cost, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today said.

"The maintenance of standards in public services comes at a cost. That cost has to be defrayed in a Public Private partnership," Tewari tweeted.

Yesterday, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had announced an across-the-board hike in fares of all classes from midnight of January 21 to net an additional Rs 6,600 crore a year.

The announcement, which was a made only about a month ahead of the Railway budget, is the first such increase in Railway fares in nearly a decade.
12:20  Delhi gang rape: A familys drive for education:  The Dehradun college where the young woman raped in New Delhi last month studied physiotherapy for more than four years plans to offer free education to her younger brothers.

"If her brothers want to take up physiotherapy or any other course, we will consider this a step in fulfilling her dreams,' said Harish Arora, chairman of the Sai Institute of Paramedical and Allied Sciences, in an interview. Read
12:16  What to tell your son on rape:  Following the sensational GS Road molestation case in Guwahati, Assam last year, blogger Local Tea Party wrote a blog post about what to tell your son on rape. Given its relevance against the backdrop of the recent Delhi gang-rape case, we reproduce it with his kind permission. Read
12:07  Girl gang-raped for three years, 3 held :  And another horror: An ex-MLA's nephew and three friends allegedly gang-raped a girl for three years in Amreli, Gujarat. Three of the four have been held, while the prime accused has obtained a stay in the case.
11:59  Rape case 'an awakening' for India, says victim's father :  On The father of the woman whose rape and fatal beating provoked outrage across India and worldwide says his daughter's death "brought an awakening to society." Read
11:57  Delhi gang-rape case hearing on January 31:  Update on the Delhi gang-rape hearing in the High Court. The court has observed that the chargesheet has been filed at the Saket Court hence the case will now be heard on January 31.

The court observed that of the 614 PCR vans 76 were off the road and asks the government to consider whether the number of PCR vans can be increased.
11:48  Desperate Mallya lists revival plan, writes to employees:  Update on Kingfisher Airlines: With employees threatening to move court for closure of the company, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya today finally broke his silence through a letter to his employees saying the management is making every effort to restart operations.

At the same time, Mallya urged the employees to be careful in their interaction with the media, alleging "negative reporting" by media on the carrier.

The employees of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, who have not been paid for eight months now, had yesterday threatened to file a winding up petition in the court under the Company's Act, if the management did not share its revival plan with them.

"We have submitted a detailed restart plan to the DGCA which is in two parts. The first part deals with a limited re-start utilising 7 aircraft ramping up to 21 aircraft in 4 months. The second part is a full scale rehabilitation of our airline growing to 57 aircraft within 12 months of recapitalisation," Mallya informed his employees in the letter. The letter, however, did not mention anything about the payment schedule of dues of the employees, but it said that "both plans contain detailed information on key assumptions and funding requirements, including payment of outstanding salaries to employees."

The airline has not paid to its employees since May last year.

KF has reneged on its promise to pay its dues to employees several times last year and it remains to be seen whether they will be willing to give Mallya the benefit of doubt or will file a winding up petition.
11:36  Why no action against police chief, asks high court:  Yesterday, Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar faced the most serious threat so far to his future as the city's top cop when the Delhi High Court asked why no action was taken against him for failing to prevent the brutal gangrape on a moving bus last month. Read more
11:32  Warmer morning for Delhi:  Delhiites today woke up to a pleasant morning as the minimum temperature rose more than a degree from the previous day to settle at 5.8 degrees Celsius. "The minimum for this period of time is seven degrees Celsius," the MeT office said.

Yesterday, the minimum was recorded at 4.4 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal, while the maximum was registered at 20.9 degree Celsius. Delhi has been witnessing cold wave conditions in the past one week with both minimum and maximum remaining five degree Celsius below normal, but there was some welcome respite since yesterday with the temperatures starting to rise a bit, a trend which the MeT department said will continue for the coming days. "The temperature will rise in the coming days," it said.

The death toll due to the cold wave in north India stands at 270 so far.
11:27  Vivekananda gave us back our dignity:  The opinion piece on the Hindu, a response to the piece --  Taking the aggression out of masculinity. Worth a read.

Does one write deliberately as a woman or man when taking up pen and paper? I do not know. But right now, I am writing as an Indian woman. The Indian woman who has held up the torch of cultured living for millennia through self-sacrifice, incredible feats of physical and mental endurance and abiding compassion. I know that the pen is a sacred object; if used unthinkingly as Sanjay Srivastava has done (The Hindu, Op-Ed, "Taking the aggression out of masculinity,' January 3, 2013), it might do more harm than good to the position of women in India. Read
11:22  India-Pakistan dialogue must continue:  The validity of our strategic objectives towards Pakistan should not be allowed to be distorted by any jingoistic reaction to the incident in Jammu & Kashmir on January 8, 2013, in which two Indian soldiers were killed well inside Indian territory by a Pakistani Army group and where one of them was allegedly decapitated. Read
11:15   Understanding what the violation of ceasefire means on the LoC. Read the report on the Telegraph. 
11:09  Gang rape: Delhi police tenders unconditional apology to HC :  The Delhi police has tendered an unconditional apology to the High Court for presenting an unsatisfactory status report. The police has also submitted the names of all cops on duty on the night of December 16 when the gang rape took place on the bus. The report also says that the role of the PCR van is being probed. 
11:05  Rape of grown-up girls may be understandable: BJP MP :   A BJP MP today said the rape of grown-up girls and women might be understandable but if someone does this to an infant, he should be hanged. Read
11:04  UN urges India, Pak to de-escalate tensions through dialogue:  The UN has urged India and Pakistan to respect the ceasefire and "de-escalate" tensions over the recent cross-border firings through dialogue. The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) made the plea even as it received a complaint from Pakistan which claimed that Indian troops had allegedly crossed the Line of Control(LoC) and "raided" a border post on January 6. India has denied it has crossed the LoC.

"UNMOGIP is aware that the Pakistan Army and Indian Army are in contact via the Hotline and urges both sides to respect the ceasefire and de-escalate tensions through dialogue," the UN observer force said.

The ceasefire has been in place along the LoC since 2003. However, "no official complaint has been received either from the Pakistan Army or Indian Army" regarding the January 8 clash in which two Indian soldiers were killed, it said.
11:02  You dont look pregnant, board bus from rear door: BEST driver:  In Mumbai, a six months pregnant woman trying to board a crowded bus from the front door was recently denied entry by the driver, who told her she "does not look pregnant". Another woman seeking a similar entry with her two-year-old son was shown the rear door. The alleged misbehaviour came to light after the women wrote to Suhas Samant, Shiv Sena leader and a member of the BEST committee, last month. More
10:54  A Delhi court fixes February 4 for the framing charges against former CWG OC Suresh Kalmadi and others in a CWG-related corruption case.
10:51  The Hindu's Praveen Swami on how a runaway grandmother sparked the savage skirmish on the LoC. Read
10:49  Accused not guilty, rape victim to be blamed: Lawyer:   Manohar Lal Sharma -- the lawyer defending three of the six accused in the gruesome Delhi gang-rape case -- has claimed that all his clients are innocent.

According to Sharma, his clients -- bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and Akshay Thakur -- will plead not guilty.

He also blamed the victim, who died on December 29 after being brutally gang-raped, for the incident.

Sharma said that a "respected lady" is never raped and the girl should not have been out with her male friend so late in the night.

Read the full report here
10:38  Delhi gang-rape trial to resume today:  The hearing in the Delhi gang-rape trial will resume today.

The five accused -- Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur -- had earlier been produced in court on December 7.

The trial is likely to be shifted to a fast-track court.
08:58  25 feared killed in Bihar road accident:  Twenty five people have been feared killed in a road accident in Bihar, according to the police.

Further details are awaited.
08:53  Assad trying to cling to power: US :  Lashing out at the Bashar al-Assad regime, the US has said the recent proposal by the Syrian President is nothing but a desperate attempt to cling to power despite popular protests against him in the country.        

"The speech by Bashar al-Assad was evidence of how delusional he is. The proposal he made was nothing more than a desperate attempt to cling to power, and it will only allow the regime to continue its oppression and killing of Syrian people," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.        

Noting that the momentum was "with the opposition forces and the Syrian people", Carney said Assad "could not restore" his control over the country despite continuous efforts, as his regime "continued to lose control" over Syrian territory.
08:52  Obama exploring executive order on gun control:  In the wake of frequent shootout incidents that have resulted in several deaths in the recent past, the US government is looking into the possibility of issuing an executive order on gun control.        

"The President is going to act. There is executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet, but we are compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the Cabinet members," Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.        

He, however, also called for legislative action to control the gun menace.
08:51  Hate speech: MIM chief refuses to apologise:  Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party president and member of Lok Sabha from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi has refused to apologise for the alleged controversial comments of his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi.

Akbaruddin, who had claimed he was unwell and failed to turn up at the police station for questioning, was arrested on Wednesday. He was sent to judicial custody by an Adilabad court, which rejected his petition for shifting him to a hospital, even as the police slapped additional charges against him.

Asaduddin stated that the "trial by media" of his brother needs to stop. 

Incidentally, Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier withdrawn support from the ruling Congress government in the state, alleging that it was "communal".
03:48  Assad not willing to give up power: US:  

The US today said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not willing to give up power even in the wake of popular protests against his authoritarian regime, but stressed that it would not give up its efforts to oust him.         


"Based on the speech that he gave over the weekend, there doesn't seem to be any evidence of it," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.         


"But that doesn't change the fact that an agreed plan about how to move forward, putting some concrete ideas forward that a broad cross section of Syrians, represented in the opposition, represented on the ground, thought made sense, that the international community could get behind" Nuland said.         


"So all of it is in service of the same end, which is, Assad's eventually going to go; we need to be maximally ready," Nuland said in response to a question, adding that there are enough indications that his days are numbered.

02:38  Help de-escalate Indo-Pak tension: US to envoys:  

Concerned over the increasing tension between India and Pakistan over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers, the US has instructed its envoys in New Delhi and Islamabad to work with the two governments to de-escalate the situation.         


"Obviously, she (US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) talked to our South Asia people about it yesterday and today. She has instructed our ambassadors to work with those governments, which they are doing," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.         


"There were calls made at the ambassadorial level in both countries," Nuland said, as she urged for calm between the two countries.         


"We are concerned about reports of violence along the Line of Control in Kashmir. It's our understanding that the governments of India and Pakistan are now talking and trying to work through these issues at a high level," Nuland told reporters.

02:36  Iraq shuts border with Jordan, citing security:  

AP: Iraqi authorities citing security concerns closed the country's only border crossing with Jordan today, cutting a key route through a part of the country where anti-government protests have been raging for weeks.         


Residents of Anbar province, the center of the Sunni-led demonstrations, rejected the closure and accused the government of trying to pressure them to end their protests against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated administration.         


"The closure ... serves only one purpose, and that is to damage the image of the protesters and depict them as troublemakers who want to make the lives of Iraqis more difficult," one of the protest organizers, Saeed Humaim, told The Associated Press. "We will stand firm on our demands, and we will not be shaken by this irresponsible act."         


Many Sunnis in Iraq complain of discrimination by the Shiite-led government. The mass protests in Anbar, and increasingly elsewhere in the country, are the largest and most sustained demonstration of Sunni discontent since the 2003 US-led invasion. Sectarian tensions frequently boil over into bloody attacks, nowadays mostly by Sunni extremists against Shiite residents and pilgrims, threatening the country's stability.

02:34  Lankan maid beheaded in Saudi:  

BBC: Saudi Arabia has beheaded a Sri Lankan domestic worker for killing a baby in her care in 2005 in a case that has been widely condemned by rights groups.


The maid, Rizana Nafeek, had denied killing the four-month-old boy. Her supporters say she was only 17 at the time of the killing. They say her execution is a breach of international child rights.


The Sri Lankan government condemned the execution, which it said took place despite numerous clemency pleas.

00:49  Seastreak Wall Street ferry crash hurts 57 in NY:  

A New York passenger ferry has hit a dock during the Manhattan rush hour, injuring 57 people and tearing a hole in the vessel's bow.


Two people have been critically injured, the Associated Press reports. The Seastreak Wall Street ferry hit the mooring as it docked about 08:45 (13:45 GMT) after a trip from New Jersey.


Read more on BBC

00:48  Top headlines at this hour:  

Total shut down in Chhattisgarh against Kanker rapes

Top Maoist leader arrested in Ranchi

Jaya wealth case: Defence witnesses to depose from Jan 21

Book mentioning post-Godhra events submitted to Nanavati panel

Use of Tamil in HC: Karuna seeks Centre's intervention

Visa-on-arrival for Pak nationals above 65 yrs from Jan 15

Severed head of Indian soldier yet to be found: Army

HALL OF SHAME! 15 worst gaffes on rape incidents

Owaisi sent to jail, court rejects petition to shift him to hospital

Delhi is freezing but these families have nowhere to go

Grow up! Tit for tat is not Pakistan policy: Hina Rabbani

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