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Ajit Pawar backs Sena protest against Pak players

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January 14, 2013

23:28  A petition from citizens on both sides of LoC:  

Read an open letter to end tensions at the Line of Control from citizens on both sides of the LoC.  Read more on Kafila


22:48  Ajit Pawar backs Sena protest against Pak players:  

Coming out in support of Shiv Sena's protest against Pakistani players in the upcoming Hockey India League, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today said the beheading of a soldier by Pakistani troops was an insult to 125 crore Indians.         


Pawar was talking to reporters at the NCP office in Mumbai after Shiv Sena workers from Nashik district led by former Sena district chief Sunil Bagul joined the party.         


"Majority of Indians agree that people-to-people contact between the two countries in the field of sports and art should be maintained despite differences. But the recent incident (beheading) was an indecent act, an insult to 125 crore Indians.        


"Pakistani cricketers came here to play, just as actors and singers from there work in Hindi films. But Pakistani hockey players have come after the recent incident," Pawar said, when asked about Sena's protest against Pakistani players in the Hockey India League.         


Pawar also expressed displeasure over the abrupt transfer of ACP Vasant Dhoble last week pending inquiry into the death of a hawker during an eviction drive.

21:56  Didn't criticise PM on gang rape case: Delhi CM:   In the eye of a storm over her remarks that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reaction on the gang rape incident came a "week too late", Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit today denied making such a statement.      

"The chief minister has talked to the AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi and has told him that she has not said any such thing. What has been reported is wrong," party spokesman Rashid Alvi quoted Dikshit as having told Dwivedi.
21:56  Odisha: Rape victim critical, put on ventilator:  The minor girl -- who was allegedly gang-raped in Rayagada and later attempted self-immolation -- was today put on ventilator after her condition worsened.       

The condition of the girl, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Visakhapatanam, is very critical, Rayagada District Collector S S Padhi said.        

The orphan girl was allegedly gang-raped by some men while she was returning from work late on January 2. Unable to bear the humiliation, she set herself on fire and sustained nearly 80 per cent burns.
21:13  HC refuses to hear Mahesh Bhatt's plea:  The Delhi high court today refused to hear film-maker Mahesh Bhatt's petition against a health ministry notification making it mandatory to show anti-tobacco messages in the beginning and middle of a film, saying the apex court has already been seized with a similar plea.        

"When the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, how can we also keep it pending? We are not inclined to entertain this petition," a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said.        

Bhatt had moved the court seeking quashing of the September 21, 2012 notification of the ministry of health, which said that anti-tobacco health spots of minimum 30 seconds shall be displayed at the beginning and middle of the films displaying tobacco products or their use.
21:10  LoC row: You will be kept in the loop, PM tells BJP:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spoken to BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj on the situation on the Line of Control, said sources. 

The PM told Jaitley and Swaraj that the Opposition will be taken into confidence on any decision on the issue and NSA Shivshankar Menon will brief them on Tuesday.
21:08  Try juvenile rape accused in fast-track court: Swamy:  Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today approached the Juvenile Justice Board dealing with the Delhi gang rape case, seeking prosecution of the juvenile involved in it in the fast-track court that will try the other five accused.        

The bench of  Board asked Swamy to approach the Supreme Court or the Delhi high court with regard to his plea before January 23 and fixed its order for that day.        

Swamy, along with advocate Supriya Manan and Ishkaran Singh Bhandari, sought the JJB's permission to be impleaded in the case and be allowed to prosecute the juvenile along with the public prosecutor.
20:05  Poem on Azad Maidan riots leave cops in a spot:   The Mumbai police were put in a spot over a poem published in its in-house journal terming last year's Azad Maidan protesters as "snakes" and "traitors" whose hands should have been "chopped off", following which it has assured to issue an unconditional apology.

A complaint in this regard has been filed by Ameen Mustafa Idrisi, who runs an NGO Muslim-e-Hind, and Nazar Mohammed Siddique, one of the arrested accused in Azad Maidan violence case and now out on bail, with the state's home department, Mumbai police comissioner's office and Azad Maidan police station.

The complainants have sought registration of an FIR against Commissioner Satyapal Singh, Joint Police Commissioner (administration) Hemant Nagarale, and woman inspector Sujata Patil, who penned the verse, publisher and other unnamed "conspirators".

"Hausla buland tha, izzat lut rahi thi...himmat ki gaddaron ne Amar Jyoti ko haath lagane ki, kaat dete haath unke toh faryad kisi ki bhi na hoti...Saanp ko doodh pila kar, baat kare hain hum bhai-chare ki. (Their morale was high, (women) were being dishonoured. The traitors had the audacity to touch Amar Jawan Jyoti. Had we cut off their hands nobody would have complained. We feed milk to the snakes and then talk of harmony," read the poem.

Patil further suggested that the cops should have played "goliyon ki holi".
19:12  If we don't get Hemraj's head, let's get 10 of theirs: Sushma:  Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today said that if India cannot recover the head of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, they should at least bring back ten Pakistani heads, reports NDTV.

"The incident that has happened, we should take revenge. Today, the country is demanding that we should not be proved a weak government... If we don't get this (Lance Naik Hemraj Singh's) head, we should get ten of theirs (Pakistan army's)," she said.

The senior BJP leader, along with party president Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh, was visiting Hemraj's family in Shernagar, Uttar Pradesh.
18:45  Dikshit: Policing in Delhi is Centre's responsibility :  Days after Union minister Jairam Ramesh complained about Delhi's "most dubious" reputation from women's safety point of view, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said policing in her state is the responsibility of the Centre.

In her reply to Ramesh, who last week gave suggestions to improve women's security in the national capital region, she also asked the Rural Development Minister to use his good office to persuade the Centre to restore people's confidence in the law and order set-up.

"While appreciating your concern for the safety of women in Delhi, you are aware that policing in Delhi is directly under the administrative control of the central government. You may, therefore, like to take up the matter with the central government for taking urgent steps to restore confidence in law-and-order machinery," she said.
18:41  Mayawati is also believed to be very upset with the Congress and has threatened to withdraw support to the UPA during the Budget session of Parliament and feels cheated over the passage of the SC/ST Promotions Bill. She is also planning to meet two chief ministers -- who are leaders of regional political parties -- to take the issue forward. 
18:38  BSP may field a candidate from Amethi :  The news from the former Gandhi bastion of Amethi is disturbing for the party. Reliable sources have told Priyanka Gandhi that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi's chances of winning at the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be difficult. She has been told that Mayawati is likely to field a candidate from Amethi. The Samajwadi Party will however, leave the arena open to the Congress as a thanksgiving for allowing UP CM's wife Dimple Yadav get elected without a contest in 2012. Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, is slated to pay a s visit to Amethi and Rae Bareli tomorrow. 
18:21  Will BJP's Yashwant Sinha join Lalu's RJD?:  Jharkhand Congress leaders speculate that BJP senior leader Yashwant Sinha is waiting for an opportunity to leave the party and may join forces with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav with an eye to contesting the polls from Hazaribagh with RJD support. Sinha won the seat in 1998 and went on to become Finance Minister and later foreign minister in the NDA government. He also won the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections.
18:17  Why BJP may further drop action against Jethmalani:  Our Delhi sources tell us that senior BJP MP Ram Jethmalani's suspension from the party has not yet been revoked.

None of the members of the BJP Central Parliamentary Board have accepted LK Advani's suggestion to revoke the suspension of Jethmalani.

On Friday, at least three members of the Central parliamentary board of the BJP have told party president Nitin Gadkari that revoking the suspension will fan the issue and keep it alive. Gadkari was also provided with information of how Ram Jethmalani showered praise on Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav.  
18:10  Army chief to meet martyred jawan's family tomorrow:  Army Chief Bikram Singh today said that he would go there (Lance Naik Hemraj's village at Kosi) after the Army Day is over (tomorrow). There is no problem in it. I did not know about it (the demand by his family)." He said he owed this to the 91 other officers, JCOs and other ranks who have sacrificed their lives in various operations across the country.
18:07  Matt Prior reveals role in Kevin Pietersen peace deal:  England would have lost their Test series in India 4-0 before Christmas if it had not been for the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen, according to Matt Prior, and many would credit the England wicketkeeper for his role in helping the volatile batsman to make peace with his employers.

Dismayed at reading rumours about Pietersen's unhappiness in the dressing room and allegations of text messages that he had sent to members of the South Africa squad, Prior decided to take the matter in hand and speak to the man himself.

According to an interview with Prior in the latest issue of The Cricketer, he telephoned Pietersen from a train heading to Brighton, surrounded by apparently oblivious fellow passengers. -- The Times, London.
18:04  Our beheaded soldiers: What would Swami Vivekananda have done?:  While celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the rebel monk Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2013, shouldn't those who claim to be his followers and those who say they admire him, think what that 'cyclonic Hindoo monk' would have done to Pakistan if he were alive today?
Read BJP MP Tarun Vijay's column on
18:02  My husband should be hanged, demands rapist's wife:  The wife of a serial offender, who allegedly raped and murdered a minor girl following release from jail after serving sentence in similar offences, says her husband should be "hanged for the heinous crime."

"My husband has committed a heinous crime and he should be punished as soon as possible. He should be hanged to death," said 28-year-old Sarika Salve, the wife of Sunil Suresh alias Pappu Salve (32) who was arrested two days ago for kidnapping, raping and then murdering a nine-year-old girl in Shirdi town of Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district on December 28 last year.

Salve has been remanded in police custody till January 17 in connection with the case.

"I am ashamed of my husband," the woman, who has two daughters herself, said yesterday.

"My husband used to beat me. Fed up with the violence, I attempted suicide sometime back by consuming poison and was admitted to a hospital for a long time. But, he (Salve) never turned up to meet me," she said. "If required, I am ready to depose against him in court," she added.
18:00  Delhi, Monster Metropolis:   Author William Dalrymple on why, despite the horrific gang rape, he still loves Delhi. Read

If you haven't, do read his City of Djinns -- a love story on India's capital. 
17:52  Jodie Foster comes out as a lesbian in Golden Globes speech :  Jodie Foster used her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes to "come out'. The Panic Room star moved audience members to tears as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 70th annual prize-giving in Los Angeles, by openly discussing her sexuality for the first time. Read more 
17:45  Omar Abdullah ministry reshuffle in J-K tomorrow:  The much-awaited reshuffle of the four-year-old Omar Abdullah ministry in Jammu and Kashmir will be carried out tomorrow in the first such exercise after the Chief Minister assumed office and less than two years ahead of the next Assembly elections. The ruling coalition partners--National Conference(NC) and Congress--remained tight-lipped today about the possible changes in the Ministry. NC sources here said the reshuffle will be carried out tomorrow.
17:30  Govt promises Rs 46 lakh, petrol pump for jawan's kin:  Union Minister Jitendra Singh today met the family of martyred soldier Hemraj and announced that the government will provide Rs 46 lakh compensation to the slain jawan's kin. Singh reached the house of Lance Naik Hemraj at the village, 160 km from Delhi and 50 km from Mathura, in the afternoon and spoke to the family.

"The government will give Rs 46 lakh. We are also talking to other ministries so that the family get a petrol pump," the Minister of State for Defence told reporters here. Condemning the beheading of Hemraj by Pakistani troops in strongest terms, Singh said the government demands that Pakistan should stop violating the ceasefire.
17:11  Martyred jawan's widow breaks her fast :   The widow of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who is on fast demanding that his severed head by returned by Pakistan, has broken her fast. 
17:05  Kate-William baby due in July:  Update on Britain royals. The baby expected by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due in July, St James's Palace has announced. A spokesman added that the duchess's condition continued to improve since she spent time in hospital last month suffering from severe morning sickness. Her treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum - more commonly experienced by women carrying twins - led to press speculation about a double birth.But the latest announcement confirms Kate is expecting just one baby.
17:02  Pak strongly rejects India's claim it killed jawans:  As expected, Pakistan has rejected India's claim that it's troops killed the two jawans. Pakistan has also lodged a strong protest against Indian troops killing its soldiers during the flag meet at Poonch today. It also denies mutilating the jawans bodies. 
16:33  BBC Breaking News: The baby of Duke & Duchess of Cambridge expected in July, St James's Palace confirms.
That's Kate and William's baby...
16:27  I'm calm: Lance Armstrong ahead of interview with Oprah:  Out for a Sunday morning jog in bright sunshine, Lance Armstrong hardly looked like a man about to finally confront the doping scandal that has shadowed his storied career like an angry storm cloud. "I'm calm, I'm at ease and ready to speak candidly," Armstrong told AP  referring to his interview Monday with Oprah Winfrey. Read
16:18  Hemraj's family refuses to end fast as politicians meet them:  UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met the family and promised to fulfill their demands. "We have already given Rs 25 lakh... Money is not a big thing but to support and respect the family is the duty of the government".

He said the jawan's mother and wife were weak and in grief. "So this is the time to stand by the family," he said.

BJP president Gadkari and senior leaders Swaraj and Rajnath Singh reached Hemraj's residence, 160 kms from Delhi and 50 km from Mathura, this afternoon while Congress MP Avtar Singh Badana met the family earlier in the day. But it did little to console the family.

Narender, Hemraj's cousin, who is on fast along with the jawan's widow and mother, questioned the visit of politicians at the house days after the incident alleging that they were trying to capitalise on the issue."Politicians are visiting us for their own interests. If they wanted to pay respect, they should have come on the day when he was cremated. Even they could have visited us two days
later but what is the point in coming now on the sixth day," Narender said.
16:09  What action taken on arrest of girls: HC asks Maha on FB row:   The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government what action it had taken against policemen who arrested two girls from nearby Palghar district for posting comments on Facebook against the bandh observed in Mumbai during Bal Thackeray's funeral in November last year.

A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka asked prosecutor Konde-Deshmukh to file by February 12 a reply on action taken by the state government in this case.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar who prayed for a direction to the state via Home department to order appropriate penal action against the erring cops who made the arrests.

Tirodkar is also a petitioner in the murder probe of Mid Day journalist J Dey.

Pic: Palghar girls Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan
15:58  Women aping western culture not good for India: BJP leader:  After Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya drew flak for 'laxman rekha' remark, his senior colleague Babulal Gaur on Sunday said 'foreign culture' of women wearing jeans and T-shirts, drinking liquor and dancing with other men is not good for India. Read more
15:43  One more arrested in Pune serial blasts case:  One more terror suspect was arrested for his alleged role in the Pune serial blasts, taking the total number of arrests in the case to eight, police said today. The accused, identified as Bunty Jahangirdhar (40), a resident of Ahmednagar district of the state, was picked from his residence by the investigators for interrogation. After thorough interrogation, he was placed under arrest yesterday. He was today produced before a MCOCA court which remanded him in police custody till January 24.
15:36  Khaps can't decide women's dress code, carrying phones: SC:  The Supreme Court said on Monday that any order by Khap panchayats asking women not to carry mobiles or dress in a particular way is violative of law and is an offence. Appearing before a SC bench, top police officers from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana said that Khaps issue socially retrograde resolutions but were never directly involved in the honour killings. Read
15:32  UP CM Akhilesh Yadav meets martyred jawan's family:  Earlier, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh visit Lance Naik Hemraj's house near Mathura and meet the bereaved family. Hemraj's widow, mother and cousin are on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the government enable the return of the remains of the jawan's body.

The villagers are believed to be extremely angry at the incident and say they are upset with the government's overtures of peace -- Bollywood and cricket -- when the killings of jawans continue. The upside of this incident is that roads leading to this remote village of Kosi Kalan have been improved.  
15:27  UP CM Akhilesh Yadav meets martyred jawan's family:  UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav visits martyr Hemraj Singh's village in Kosi Kalan near Mathura. Army chief Bikram Singh is expected to reach the village shortly. 
15:23  'Sexist' offer by Chinese bank sparks outrage:  A new offer made by a Chinese bank to automatically transfer most of a husband''s income to his wife''s account has provoked fury, with some calling it "the most atrocious banking service against men in history". China Merchants Bank, a major financial institution, has described its "capital accumulation" service as a "time and energy-efficient" way for a couple to save money
15:15  Ansari leaves on a four-day state visit to Vietnam:  Vice President Hamid Ansari today left on a four-day state visit to Vietnam to give further impetus to ties between the two countries and is expected to sign some strategic, trade and other bilateral agreements.

During the visit, Ansari will attend the closing ceremony of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the India-Vietnam diplomatic ties. Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, who visited India last week, had participated in the programme held here to mark the occasion. The two countries had celebrated 2012 as the year of India-Vietnam friendship.
15:12  El Dorado was a person, not a city of gold!:  The dream of El Dorado, a lost city of gold, led many a conquistador on a fruitless trek into the rainforests and mountains of South America. But it was all wishful thinking. The "golden one" was actually not a place but a person - as recent archaeological research confirms. Read
15:00  Daily Mail: Union Minister busts Air India ticketing scam. Read
14:59  Woman found hanging from tree in Bihar, not gang-raped:  The post-mortem report of a woman, who was found hanging from a tree in Bihar yesterday, has revealed she was not raped. The police say the woman may have committed suicide.

The police had yesterday said the 32-year-old victim, who was a passenger of the Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail, was dragged to the mango orchard and allegedly gang-raped by unidentified people.

The police had found liquor bottles from the spot of the suicide. A railway ticket and cellphone number of her village head written on a piece of paper was recovered from the victim's possession, police said.
14:47  A rising Modi creates waves in Congress think tank :  Also on the Daily Mail: The rising of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the BJP and his emergence as a challenger to Congress heir apparent Rahul Gandhi in 2014 has forced the party to factor NaMo in its political strategy ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls. Read more
14:45  Mama, I want them to be burnt alive, Delhi rape victim had said:   Mother of gang rape victim calls for accused to be hanged as she reveals daughter's death-bed wish for them to be 'burnt alive'. That's the story on the Daily Mail. Read more.
14:33  Indian Army: LeT hand-in-glove with Pakistan:  Lieutenant general Om Prakash, who is the general officer commanding (GOC) of the Army's strategic Srinagar-based 15 Corps said today that the Lashkar-e-Toiba 's involvement in the January 8 incident, where the two Indian army jawans were killed, is evident. He said the LeT is hand-in-glove with Pakistan. The GOC spoke to CNN IBN soon after the Indo-Pak flag meet at Poonch.
14:29  Indian-origin politician becomes S'pore's Ist woman Speaker:  In other news: An Indian-origin politician Halimah Yacob scripted history today by becoming the first woman Speaker of Singapore's Parliament, replacing Michael Palmer who was forced to quit over his extra-marital affair.

She assumed charge at the start of the sitting of the House this afternoon, Channel News Asia reported. 58-year-old Halimah, an Indian-origin Muslim, resigned yesterday as Minister of State for Ministry of Social and Family Development.

She filled the position vacated by Palmer, former People's Action Party MP who stepped down on December 12, 2012, over an extramarital affair. Halimah was nominated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to be elected as Speaker.
14:26  Gadkari: Pak should apologise, India should act tough:  BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh visit Lance Naik Hemraj's house near Mathura and meet the bereaved family. Addressing the media following the meeting, Gadkari says, not just the family, the whole country is disturbed. "India should act tough with Pakistan and raise the matter on an international platform. I can understand the feeling of the family. I had tears in my eyes when I spoke to the family. Pakistan has to apologise for this inhuman act," said Gadkari. 
14:19  BJP president meets martyred soldier's family:   BJP president Nitin Gadkari meets the family of martyred Lance Naik Hemraj. The family of Lance Naik Hemraj who was butchered by Pakistan Army regulars says they are willing to break their fast when the Army chief reaches Kosi. Gen Bikram Singh has expressed a desire to meet Hemraj's family, a pre-condition for the kin to break their fast.   
14:06  In other news: Will Chidambaram become Rahuls Manmohan Singh? Read
13:53  Hafiz Saeed warns: Situation in Kashmir could get ugly:   Founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai massacre, had said on Friday that India was trying to destabilise Pakistan and predicted that the situation in Kashmir could get "ugly".

"We do not want any force to be used or any military operation for this. But the Indians are opting for the other alternative,' Hafez Saeed told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday. 
The Tribune, Pakistan, has the story. Read more
13:49  Hemraj's family to break fast:  Just in: The family of Lance Naik Hemraj who was butchered by Pakistan Army regulars says they are willing to break their fast when the Army chief reaches Kosi. Gen Bikram Singh has expressed a desire to meet Hemraj's family, a pre-condition for the kin to break their fast. 
13:41  Indo-Pak flag meet ends at Poonch:  The brigadier-level flag meet at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch between India and Pakistan has just ended. Details awaited. 
13:39  Army chief: Will meet martyr Hemraj's family:  Just in: Army chief Bikram Singh says he will meet martyr Hemraj's family.  Hemraj's wife Dharamvati, mother Meena and cousin Narendra have taken nothing but intravenous fluid as their condition deteriorated while doctors kept a close watch and examined them at regular intervals. They are on a hunger strike demanding Pakistan return the severed head of Hemraj taken away as a trophy.
13:37  Hemraj's family wants Army Chief to visit them:  Into the sixth day of their fast, the family of martyred soldier Hemraj today refused to taken "even liquid" saying they will not end their protest till Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh visits their house and assure them that his severed head will be brought back.

Hemraj's wife Dharamvati, mother Meena and cousin Narendra have taken nothing but intravenous fluid as their condition deteriorated while doctors kept a close watch and examined them at regular intervals.

Dr Harshwardhan, Medical Officer of Chatha Public Health Centre, said, "The family is refusing even to take any liquids. But we are maintaining there vital parameters.

Dharamvati is being given IV fluid." "We are not going to call off our fast if a leader comes here and request us to do so. We want the Army chief to come here and assure us that he will get Hemraj's head back from Pakistan. Only then we will call off our fast," Narendra, who is on fast, told PTI.

The family's demands came as the Army Chief addressed a press conference in New Delhi and said the beheading of two Indian soldiers in Pak Army attack was unacceptable.

He said the Army understands the grief of the families of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives as they are "our families too" and they will make all attempts to ease the pain and suffering of Lance Naik Hemraj's family.
13:30  MP rape convict loses driving license:  More on that flag meet in a bit.

In a first, the Madhya Pradesh government has cancelled the driving license of a man convicted of raping a school girl in his car in April 2012. The driving license of Vishwambhar Gurjar was revoked after he was convicted on January 10 for abducting and raping a school girl in his car in the city in Gwalior.

Gurjar had abducted the minor girl in his Bolero car before raping and dumping her. Two others convicted with Gurjar, did not have the driving license, and are not likely to get the one in Madhya Pradesh, said the official. The action was taken under section 19 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act. Section 19(1) allows for refusing or revoking the licence of, among others, anyone who has used a motor vehicle in a cognisable offence.
13:20  What is expected to happen at the flag meet :  At the flat meeting, India will register a strong protest against the killing of two Indian soldiers on January 8 by Pakistani troops and warn against repetition of such an incident. India will also demand the severed head of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was reportedly killed by Pakistani troops.

At the press conference held earlier in New Delhil, Army Chief Bikram Singh admitted that "tactical errors have taken place in the patrol on which we lost two soldiers. We will enquire into the matter later."

He also admitted to an earlier incident where Indian soldiers were beheaded in 2011.

On the Indian Army per se, Gen Bikram Singh says, "There are no fissures in the Indian Army leadership.

On AFSPA: We should not dilute the provisions of AFSPA. It is an act that enables the soldier to operate in an asymmetric environment: Army Chief

On Siachen: Siachen is strategically important for India and we need to continue to be there. Let's not lose our advantage on the glacier.  (Read: Why a breakthrough on Siachen is unlikely)
13:11  Pakistan on Sunday finally agreed to the flag meeting being demanded by India between rival formation commanders in the Poonch district of J&K, a day after IAF chief NAK Browne warned that "other options for compliance" would have to be examined if Islamabad continued to blatantly flout the line of control's sanctity.
13:05  Poonch: Crucial Indo-Pak flag meet begins :  The Indo-Pak brigade commander level flag meeting begins at the Poonch at Chakan da Bagh. 
13:04  What is a flag meeting?:   India and Pakistan will hold a meeting at 1 pm at Chakan da Bagh on the Line of Control in Kashmir's Poonch district today. The meeting will be led by the brigadiers of both sides. So, what is a flag meeting?'s Vicky Nanjappa explains. 

Air Marshal B K Pandey explains: A flag meeting is basically a meeting that is held at the border or on the Line of Control by the commanders on both sides. A flag meeting could be held at the brigadier level in smaller issues and in the larger context it could also be held on the general level. In this case it is at the brigadier level.

At the specified time both the commanders of the area come closer to the border with their respective escorts. One person holds up the flag of the respective nation in order to establish the identity.
13:01  Air Indias CMD, MD earn less than other colleagues:  Air India's chairman and managing director takes home a lighter pay packet than some of the clerical staff, an anomaly that underscores the skewed salary structure at the struggling state-owned airline. The CMD's total pay packet of Rs 1.30 lakh a month amounts to a take-home salary of about Rs 80,000 for the 1985-batch bureaucrat on deputation. Read

A study (yes, one of those inane ones) says that workers earning the lowest wages have a higher risk of hypertension than those who receive handsome salaries, a new study suggests. The correlation between wages and hypertension was especially strong among women and persons between the ages of 25 to 44.
12:58  A village bids a daughter farewell. The Wall Street Journal on the Delhi gang-rape victim's 13th day rituals. Read
12:37  On Twitter:

M K Venu, managing editor, Financial Express: The forthcoming budget will not be a taxation budget. It will be an innovative expenditure minimising budget! The finance minister is slashing over 10 pc of most central plan schemes. Will save him about Rs.25000 cr. Will hit fiscal target 2012-13.
12:31  Also on the Sunday Guardian:  Rogue Pak colonels behind LOC killings. Read
12:30  Traversing Marxist tropes in modern historiography:  In other stories: Historian Irfan Habib talks about how the Marxist approach to history has evolved over the years and whether it still holds value in contemporary historical research. On the Sunday Guardian.
12:28  IAF boss waves other option sword at Pak:   On Saturday, the Indian Air Force chief NAK Browne, said that New Delhi may have "to look at some other options' to stop Pakistan's violations of the Line of Control even as a seething army was looking within to plug defences.
Browne, who is also the most senior military commander in the country and the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, did not elaborate what "other options' should be considered after the brutalisation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops on January 8. "Options are options. We do not discuss these options openly. If the violations continue, we may have to look at the whole issue all over again,' the air chief said. More
12:13  Gen Bikram Singh: It is possible that Pakistan Army used terrorists in this operation, they have in the past, but this was done by Pakistan regulars.
12:09  The Pakistan army committed as many as 117 ceasefire violations in 2012, a major jump over the 2011 tally of 61, with the aim being to push in as many terrorists as possible into J&K to stoke militancy.

After the spike in ceasefire violations last year, the Indian Army in November had also sought a flag meeting with the Pakistan army in the Uri sector but the latter had refused it.

The last time Pakistan had agreed to a flag meeting was in June 2012, which too was held at Chakan Da Bagh, after two Indian jawans were killed and four others injured in cross-border shelling, officials said.-- TOI
12:06  India trying to bring back jawan's head: Army chief :  The army chief says that the government is trying to bring back diplomatically Lance Naik Hemraj's head, which was taken away by Pakistani army personnel as a trophy after he was brutally killed and beheaded.

Gen Bikram Singh says that the army top brass is happy and can be happy only when jawans are happy.

Lashing out at the Pakistaini government, in a first, since the firing on the LoC incident last week, Gen Singh said that the entire misinforamtion campaign launched by Pakistan is nothing but a bunch of lies. "I have given directions to all my commanders on the LoC to respond immediately if provoked."

Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles were killed by Pakistani troops, after sneaking into the Mendhar sector on January 8.

12:00  Killing of jawans was gruesome, unpardonable: Army chief:  Gen Bikram Singh says Pakistan's action was gruesome and unpardonable, but India will uphold the ceasefire treaty till such time Pakistan does. He said India expects all its commanders on the LoC to be aggressive.

Calling the statements by the Pakistani government and army as lies, the army chief said the Indian army did not conduct any operation on January 6 as claimed by Pakistan.

The attack on the two Indian jawans was pre-planned and pre-meditated and India reserves the right to retailate when it is provoked at a time of its choosing. The killing was against the rules of engagement, said General Bikram Singh. 
11:50  India won't remain passive if attacked: Army chief:  Ahead of the Indo-Pak flag meeting Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh says India's response to Pakistani firing at its posts in LoC in Jammu and Kashmir is measured and perfect: India reserves its right to retaliate against Pakistan at time and place of its choice, won't remain passive when attacked.
11:44  From 'incredible India' to 'area of darkness':  Some British media coverage of the Delhi outrage tended towards notions of western cultural superiority, enough to provoke a group of academics to make a strong protest. Read
11:41  Also read: India's new focus on rape shows only the surface of women's perils

Is Delhi so different from Steubenville? Read
11:39  Delhi gang-rape trial likely to be moved to fast track court:  Defense lawyers say the cases of five men charged in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus are expected to be shifted to a fast track court.

A hearing on whether to move the cases was to be held Monday. It had been set for last week but was rescheduled when it turned out that the official list of charges was not completely legible.

Five men have been charged with the Dec. 16 attack on the young woman, who died later in a Singapore hospital. They could face the death penalty if convicted. A sixth suspect, who says he is 17 years old, is likely to be tried in a juvenile court if medical tests confirm he is a minor. -- AP.
11:36  What two years without polio means for India:  The large sums of money spent in the eradication of the disease is an investment in the economic development of the country. Read the editorial on the Hindu.

And a similar story on the Wall Street Journal. Read
11:26  Army chief talks tough ahead of flag meeting with Pak :  On a day Pakistan finally agreed to a flag meeting to defuse tension along the volatile LoC, the Indian Army chief is believed to have told his top general in the border state that the force reserved the right to retaliate at a place and time of its choosing. Read
11:17  Eve-teasing victim gets 'death threats' from Trinamool leader:  A woman, who was allegedly teased by some Trinamool Congress workers in Barasat on Friday night that led to the arrest of one person, has now told the police that local Trinamool supporters are threatening her to withdraw the complaint. Read
11:15  Passenger gang-raped, killed, hanged from a tree:  In a grim reminder of the horrific Delhi rape case, a woman who got down from a Delhi-bound train in Bhagalpur district, was gang-raped, killed and her body hanged from a tree in a mango orchard. Read more
11:14  President rejects mercy plea of man who killed wife, daughter:  President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the mercy petition of murder convictSaibanna Ningappa Natikar, making it the second mercy petition that he was rejected so far. Natikar was convicted of killing his wife and daughter. Mukherjee took the decision on January 4. The rejection comes at a time when there is growing concern over crimes against women after the December 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist in Delhi. Read
11:13  Activists up in arms about Mumbai cops poem on Azad Maidan riot:  A day after TOI reported about a highly objectionable poem in Mumbai police's bulletin, some social activists said they are going to file a writ petition in the Bombay high court against the publisher and the poet. Inspector Sujata Patil of the traffic police in her poem had called the Azad Maidan protesters as traitors, snakes and suggested that their hand should have been chopped off so that they could not dare to do it again.  Read more
10:58  Not optimistic on flag meeting between Indo-Pak commanders:  Asserting that there will be charges and counter charges between the two Asian neighbours during the Brigade Commander-level flag meeting, Indian defence analyst Bharat Verma on Monday said nothing much is going to happen in today''s meeting because infiltration and export of terrorism from the Pakistani side will continue to take place.

Verma said ''the first issue India is going to raise in the Brigade Commanders flag meeting is the beheading that has been done''. "Pakistan will deny it and that will be the only discussion. India will warn, Pakistan will warn India. So, there will be charges and counter charges. The problem here is very simple. India does not export terrorism or create conditions for infiltration because we don''t have any irregular forces to infiltrate into Pakistan. But whenever Pakistan tries to infiltrate its own people, the terrorists, into Indian Territory, India has to retaliate," said Verma.

"So, despite the flag meeting nothing much is going to happen. And again sometime later, there will be firing. And firing to defend ourselves because the infiltrators are coming in, which Pakistan will continue to do. So, it really doesn''t matter and I don''t think there is going to be a great deal happening with the flag meeting," he added. India and Pakistan will hold a Brigade Commander-level flag meeting in Jammu and Kashmir''s Poonch sector today during which New Delhi is expected to register strong protests against the brutal killing of two jawans by Pakistani soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC). 
09:57  Sensex up 67 points in early trade:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday gained nearly 67 points in early trade on selective buying by funds ahead of inflation data, amid a firming Asian trend. 

The 30-share barometer rose by 66.70 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 19,730.34 led by IT, technology and consumer durables sector stocks. The index had ended almost flat at 19,663.64 points on Friday.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 14.65 points, or 0.25 per cent per cent, to 5,965.95.

Brokers said increased buying by participants ahead of inflation data for December to be released later today and third quarter earning results from top bluechip companies such as TCS, influenced trading sentiments. 

Stocks of second largest software exporter Infosys continued its upward march, after the company announced Q3 earnings on Friday, and gained 2.48 per cent to Rs 2,780, while TCS was up 1.45 per cent at Rs 1,325.25.
09:10  India, Pak to hold flag meet at Poonch today:  
In an attempt to de-escalate the recent tension along the Line of Control following the beheading of an Indian Army soldier by Pakistani Army regulars and the brutal killing of another, a Brigadier level flag meeting is scheduled to be held at the Chakkan Da Bagh border crossing point in Poonch at 1 pm on Monday. 

The meeting will be attended by the brigade commanders of both sides.

Confirming this, the Army spokesperson said India would raise the recent spate of unprovoked ceasefire violations with Pakistan and would also present evidence that Pakistani Army troops are engaged in a series of firings on Indian posts in contravention to the rules of engagement that were framed to ensure the continuity of the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

The Indian side had called for a flag meeting after two of its soldiers belonging to the 13 Raj Rif regiment were killed by Pakistani Army regulars who had crossed over to the Indian side of the border on January 8. 

This was preceded by the killing of a Pakistani Army soldier in Uri sector on January 6.
09:08  Left unions call off staff stir in Kerala:  
The six-day-old strike by pro-Left employees and teachers in Kerala against government's decision to introduce Contributory Pension Scheme has been called off with the unions accepting some proposals made by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The Congress-led UDF government stood firm by its decision to introduce CPS for the employees joining the state service from April 1 this year but assured the unions of creating a mechanism to examine any difficulty for employees that could arise while implementing the new scheme. 

With the government toughening its stand and the unions finding it difficult to carry on with the stir indefinitely, both the parties relented from their hard position and the first round of talks were held with Finance Minister K M Mani. 

This was followed by a meeting of union leaders and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy past midnight and the union leaders announced the decision to end the strike in the wee hours of Monday.

The government agreed that the Centre would be asked to include the state treasury in the list of financial institutions for administering the pension fund. 
08:25  Pakistan sacks Baluchistan government:  
The Pakistan government has imposed Governor's rule in the troubled province of Baluchistan after dissolving the ruling provincial government. 

Prime Minister, Raja Pervaz Ashraf made the announcement late Sunday night after prolonged talks with Hazara Shia leaders who were staging a sit-in to demand the dismissal of provincial government and the army control of Quetta.

Ashraf assured the leaders of the Hazara Shia community that under governor rule the chief executive of the province could summon the army anytime to help the administration. 

The sit-in by the Hazara community leaders started on Alamdar road in the city since Thursday night when twin bomb blasts in the area killed around 98 people and injured over 130.

Most of those killed in the twin blasts belonged to the Hazara Shias who have refused to bury the victims until their demands were met by the government. 
08:25  Chavez 'fighting for his life': former Venezuelan VP:  
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has not been seen in public for more than a month, is "fighting for his life" after cancer surgery in Cuba, former vice president Elias Jaua said.

Chavez's extended absence has fueled growing political uncertainty in Venezuela. But Jaua said the usually outspoken and ever-present leftist leader was "alive and fighting for a full recovery."

"The situation is complex and delicate, but it is true that Hugo Chavez has fought and is fighting for his life," said Jaua, who was vice president from January 2010 until October.

He spoke during a meeting in Caracas of the ruling United Socialist Party in support of Chavez. Similar meetings were held simultaneously in the cities of Zulia (northwest), Trujillo (west) and Vargas (north), and were broadcast on government television.

Chavez, whose OPEC-member nation controls the world's largest proven oil reserves, has been out of the public eye since undergoing surgery in Havana on December 11. It is the fourth such operation in the 18 months since his condition was made public.
08:24  Netanyahu vows to proceed with disputed settlement:  
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pledged to move ahead with construction of a new Jewish settlement in a strategic part of the West Bank, speaking just hours after Israeli forces dragged dozens of Palestinian activists from the area.

The activists pitched more than two dozen tents at the site on Friday, laying claim to the land and drawing attention to Israel's internationally condemned settlement policy. 

Before dawn on Sunday, hundreds of Israeli police and paramilitary border troops evicted the protesters. Despite the eviction, Mustafa Barghouti, one of the protest leaders, claimed success, saying the overall strategy is to "make (Israel's) occupation costly."

The planned settlement, known as E-1, would deepen east Jerusalem's separation from the West Bank, war-won areas the Palestinians want for their state. The project had been on hold for years, in part because of US objections.

Netanyahu revived the E-1 plans late last year in response to the Palestinians' successful bid for UN recognition of a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem. 
08:24  Iraq finance minister 'escapes assassination':  
Iraq's finance minister, who has been locked in dispute with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, escaped an apparent assassination attempt on Sunday when his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb. 

Rafa al-Essawi's convoy had been travelling between the towns of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, when the bomb went off at around 7:00 pm (2130 IST), two security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

No one in Essawi's entourage was harmed but some of the vehicles were damaged, the officials said. 

The blast comes amid a political crisis. Weeks of anti-government demonstrations in Sunni Arab majority areas have hardened opposition against the Shiite premier. 

Maliki is at loggerheads with his erstwhile government partners in the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc over its accusations of authoritarianism and sectarianism in the run-up to key provincial polls.
08:20  Top headlines at this hour:  India, Pak commanders to hold flag meet todays

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