23:38 Chennai doc held for stopping cop from entering ICU:
DMK chief M Karunanidhi has condemned the arrest of a 70-year-old doctor
in Chennai who stopped a police sub-inspector from entering the
Intensive Care Unit of a hospital with his shoes on, reports NDTV
policeman had gone to the Apollo Hospital ahead of Chief Minister J
Jayalalithaa's visit to meet media baron Sivanthi Adithan, who is
admitted there. Dr Karunanidhi is the personal physician of Adithan.
He was arrested a few days ago.Read the full report here
22:10 Katju to write to Prez on Sanjay, Zaibunissa issue:
Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju may soon write a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking that actor Sanjay Dutt and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Zaibunissa are not sent to jail till his application seeking pardon for them is considered.
The PCI chief is also planning to team up with noted criminal lawyer Majeed Memon to set up an organisation named 'Court of last resort' that would fight for those who are languishing in jails and in dire need of legal assistance.
Speaking to PTI over phone, Katju said that as per Article 72 of the constitution, the President can grant pardon, reprieve, respite or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.
21:14 Zardari heads to Dubai to pacify Bilawal:
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari embarked on a two-day visit to Dubai on Saturday amidst reports that the trip was aimed at persuading his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to return to the country and lead the Pakistan People's Party's election campaign.
The 24-year-old Bilawal had left for Dubai over a week ago after a tiff with his father over the affairs of the PPP. A source in the PPP told PTI that Zardari had gone to Dubai on a "private visit" and the main purpose of his trip was to placate Bilawal.
"The PPP cannot afford to go into the May 11 polls without Bilawal. Many in the PPP believe that the son of the late Benazir Bhutto alone can mobilise voters in favour of the party," the source said.
21:07 Rajnath, Advani to campaign for Karnatka assembly elections:
BJP president Rajnath Singh and L K Advani are among the key party leaders who will be campaigning for the May 5 Karnataka Assembly elections.
"Our national leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj will be descending in the city for poll campaign by attending Sankalpa Convention on April 8," state party spokesman C T Ravi told reporters.
BJP's central election committee will announce the list of its candidates in the first week of April, he said.
21:02 Govt may hand over Italian marines case to NIA:
The government is likely to hand over the case relating to the killing of two Kerala fishermen by Italian marines to the National Investigation Agency for further probe. It will also approach the Supreme Court again to clarify doubts on conducting the two accused marines' trial in India, reports Hindustan Times
Read the full report here
20:25 Musharraf barred from leaving Pakistan:
Pakistani authorities on Saturday directed officials at airports across the country to bar former President Pervez Musharraf from going abroad.
The Federal Investigation Agency directed immigration officials at all international airports to stop Musharraf from travelling abroad, TV news channels reported. The FIA formally issued written orders to immigration officials in this regard.
The move came a day after the Sindh high court issued orders that Musharraf could not leave Pakistan without seeking the permission of courts that are hearing cases against him.
20:10 India asks Pak for full report on Chamel Singh:
India has asked Pakistan to provide a "full report" about the circumstances surrounding the death of Chamel Singh, an Indian prisoner, in a Pakistani jail and a copy of the post-mortem report.
According to official sources, the Indian High Commission, which continues to press the Pakistan authorities for a copy of the post-mortem report, has asked for the same on March 27 when an official from the mission met the officials of ministry of foreign affairs in Islamabad. India has also conveyed its concern to Pakistani authorities over the unnecessary delay in providing details of post-mortem and other details, they said.
On March 13, the Pakistan authorities conducted the autopsy in Lahore and handed over the mortal remains of Singh the same day, the sources said, adding Indian high commission officials received his body on March 13 itself and immediately transported it to the Attari International Check Post where it was handed over to members of his family in the presence of representatives of Jammu and Kashmir government.
19:49 5 lakh Delhiites vow not to pay inflated power bill: AAP:
The indefinite fast of Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal against "inflated" power and water bills entered the eighth day today with the party claiming that his health was within normal range.
In a statement, the party claimed over five lakh people in Delhi have vowed not to pay inflated power and water bills. The AAP camp got a boost as Anna Hazare, who had split with Kejriwal, came to visit the fasting protester last night. Hazare had urged Kejriwal not to prolong his fast. The statement said Kejriwal's health parameters were within normal range.
19:38 B'desh: 4 Pakistanis arrested with bombs, Rs 12.9 mn fake notes:
The Bangladesh police said they have arrested four Pakistanis and 12 others and seized eight crude bombs and 12.9 million in fake Indian currency while the group was allegedly planning subversive activities.
"Other than the Pakistanis, we arrested 12 Bangladeshis including a doctor while carrying out our overnight raids in different parts of the capital," police spokesman Manirul Islam told PTI.
He said plainclothesmen carried out the raids on a tip-off while they also seized eight crude bombs and a huge amount of counterfeit Indian and Pakistani currencies. Islam said the four Pakistanis, two of them women, were found to be part of a counterfeit currency clique, who provided the money to Fariduddin Ahmed, a leader of the radical Jamaat-e-Islami party.
19:28 UP CM's reply to Beni: Cong-BSP will perform badly: CNN-IBN
reports: Responding to the salvo fired by Congress leader and Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma that the Samajwadi Party would win just four seats in the 2014 polls, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said that people will see the reality of the Congress-Bahujan Samaj Party relationship.
Going one step further he added that, it wouldn't be the SP, but the BSP, that would win just four seats in the general elections.
Akhilesh Yadav said, "People will see the reality of Congress-BSP relationship. Parties that did poorly in assembly polls will get four seats in 2014 elections." The war between Beni and Akhilesh broke out when the Congress leader said that the SP will win only four seats in the 2014 Lok sabha elections. He added, "SP never wants the Congress to flourish in Uttar Pradesh."
19:18 Nelson Mandela once fell in love with Indian-origin woman: Book :
South Africa might have had an Indian-origin First Lady if Amina Cachalia had agreed to a proposal of marriage from the country's first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela.
Mandela proposed to Amina, the widow of veteran African National Congress activist Yusuf Cachalia, after his 27 years of imprisonment and his marriage to Winnie Mandela ended. But, she dismissed his declarations of love, she wrote in her biography 'When Hope and History Rhyme'.
Amina, who died last month aged 83, revealed an intimate and affectionate side to the relationship between her and lifelong family friend Mandela in the book released after her death.
18:31 Cong will drop Beni Prasad from govt: SP sources: NDTV
reports: Samajwadi Party sources say the Congress has assured the party that controversial Union minister Beni Prasad Verma, who has been relentless in his public attacks on the SP and its chief Mulayam Yadav, will be dropped from the Union Cabinet.
According to the sources, Verma is likely to be dropped before the budget session of Parliament resumes.Read the full report here
17:39 DSPs murder: CBI questions Raja Bhaiya's cousin:
Taking its probe to the doorsteps of former Uttar Pradesh minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday questioned his cousin and member of state legislative council Akshay Pratap Singh in connection with the violence in Balipur village in which Deputy Superintendent of Police Zia-ul-Haq was killed.
CBI sources said Singh was questioned in detail about his whereabouts on the day of incident in which village head Nanhe Yadav, his brother Suresh and Haq were allegedly murdered during violence arising over a land dispute on March 2.
They said the agency might also question his cousin and independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya in connection with these murders, as some suspects are known to be cronies of the influential leader.
17:39 Sri Lankan Leader of Opposition in India next week:
Sri Lankan Leader of Opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe will be in India in the first week of April.
owing to the recent protests in India over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Ranil's travel plans are being kept under wraps.
In New Delhi, the Sri Lankan lawmaker will be holding talks with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and leaders of BJP, CPM, CPI, SP and BSP leaders.
Ranil also plans to visit Buddhist centres in Bihar and UP.
17:19 Modi set to return to BJP Parliamentary Board after 6 yrs:
On CNN-IBN: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is likely to return to the Parliamentary Board of Bharatiya Janata Party after a gap of six years.
Modi's close aide and former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to be made the General Secretary.
The BJP will finalise its list of party Parliamentary Board members by late evening on Saturday and in a further boost to Modi's PM ambitions, the Gujarat Chief Minister is likely to be re-inducted into the party's Parliamentary Board.
Modi had been appointed a member of the Parliamentary Board by party president Rajnath Singh in his previous term as the BJP chief but was dropped a year later.
Meanwhile, the return of Shah in the Parliamentary Board has reportedly split the party with a faction opposing it.
Shah had to quit his post after the CBI accused him of being part of the conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter.
16:52 Mild tremor in Kutch, no damages reported:
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter Scale struck Bhachau in Kutch district of western Gujarat on Saturday, Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) said in Ahmedabad.
"The earthquake struck 22 km north of Bhachau, near Choburi, in Kutch district at 12:03 pm," ISR Director General BK Rastogi said.
There were no reports of casualties or any property damage.
Kutch has been rocked by tremors measuring 2-4 on the Richter Scale in the past. The area had suffered a major devastation in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake.
16:48 Mumbai Police withdraw security of suspended MNS MLA:
The Mumbai Police has withdrawn the security of suspended Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLA Ram Kadam, who was one of the MLAs who allegedly assaulted Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryavanshi.
Ram Kadam had been provided four security guards before the attack on Suryavanshi.
As per the procedure, once an MLA is suspended, his security is withdrawn.
The Thane Rural police has confirmed that suspended MLA Kshitij Thakur wasn't provided any security.
Two weeks ago, the API was attacked outside the state Assembly by a group of MLAs.
Suryavanshi in his complaint to the Marine Drive police had identified MLAs Ram Kadam and Khistij Thakur as those who assaulted him with along with other MLAs.
15:34 Can Google influence close election outcome?:
Internet search engine like Google can manipulate search rankings, giving an edge to a favored political candidate by pushing up flattering links and pushing down unflattering ones, an expert has said.
Psychologist Robert Epstein conducted a series of experiments testing the impact of a fictitious search engine, he called "Kadoodle".
According to the Washington Post, Epstein said not only could Kadoodle sway the outcome of close elections, it could do so in a way most voters would never notice.
Epstein, who had a public spat with Google last year, offers no evidence of actual evil acts by the company.
Yet his exploration of Kadoodle not only illuminates how search engines shape individual choices, but asks whether the government should have a role in keeping this power in check, the Post said.
According to the paper, Epstein's core finding revealed given the amount of information available about Internet users, a search engine could even tailor results for, certain groups, based on location, age, income level, past searches, Web browsing history or other factors.
The voters least tuned in to other sources of information, such as news reports or campaign advertisements, would be most vulnerable, the experiment revealed.
14:48 Mumbai cops hunt for Mona Singh's MMS clip maker:
Mumbai police have registered a case against unknown persons after TV actor Mona Singh lodged a complaint about an objectionable MMS clip on the social networking sites.
Police said they were trying to find out the IP address of the computer from where the clip was uploaded.
Police suspects that the culprit(s) is someone known to the actor.
"We suspect involvement of some local elements and we are trying to trace the IP address of the computer from where it was uploaded," a police officer said.
A case was registered on Friday under the Information Technology Act.
14:36 National Interest: Because we forget:
On one issue there is no doubt: the firearms given to Sanjay Dutt in the middle of January 1993 were indeed for self-defence.
So what is anybody complaining about?
Self-defence is as good a defence morally as in a court of law.
The problem, as usual, lies in the detail.
Which must be stated once again now because we live in times of such attention deficit disorder. Also, when the presumption seems to be that there was no history before Google.
14:29 Why Naxals are going to schools these days:
In Naxal dominated areas, schools are being targeted to propagate Naxal ideology.
Lessons imparted to young impressionable minds are distinctly anti-establishment and give a message that a revolution is necessary to overthrow the Government.
The youth in affected states are thus being subverted to Naxal ideology which aims to overthrow India's democratic structure through violence.
Many instances have also come to light where children are used to collect information about the location and movement of security forces.
Even worse, they are at times used as human shields by the Naxals while operating against the security forces.
13:01 Why Jennifer Lopez was axed from IPL gig:
Hollywood actress-singer Jennifer Lopez reportedly got herself axed from an Indian Premier League (IPL) gig to perform for 60 million viewers when she gave the organisers a long list of unessential demands.
The 43-year-old insisted on a private plane and dozens of hotel rooms for her huge entourage, including her stylists, assistants and chef, reports thesun.co.uk.
Disgusted officials who wanted to book her for the opening ceremony of the IPL cricket tournament instead signed up rapper Pitbull for Tuesday's event.
"The demands were outrageous. She effectively priced herself out of the event. It was idiotic because the audience for this event is huge," said the source.
"She had turned down the deal because she was busy recording an album," said Lopez's spokesperson.
13:00 Punjab police ASI dies after scuffle with truck driver:
An Assistant Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police has died following a scuffle with a truck driver at upcoming campus of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law at Sidhuwal village of the district.
The incident took place on Friday night when ASI Ravinderpal Mangat, (37), signalled a speeding truck to stop at a check point near the campus. The truck driver, identified as Amandeep Singh, did not slow down the truck, following which the ASI chased the vehicle and dragged Singh out of the truck.
Thereafter, a scuffle broke out between the ASI and truck driver. Mangat lost consciousness after the driver allegedly hit him with an iron rod, police said.
He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
The accused had been nabbed by the police.
12:35 8 cops convicted in Gonda fake encounter case:
Eight policemen have been convicted by a special CBI court in Lucknow in a 31-year-old fake encounter case in Gonda district in which 13 people, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were killed.
Special CBI judge Rajendra Singh convicted the eight yesterday and fixed April 5 as the next date to fix quantum of sentence.
One policemen Prem Singh was acquitted of the charges.
In all 19 policemen were made accused in the case of which 10 died during the course of the trial.
DySP and circle officer K P Singh and 12 other people were killed in the fake encounter in Madhopur village in March 1982.
Police initially claimed that Singh was killed by criminals, but his wife Vibha Singh suspected foul play and moved the Supreme Court, which ordered a CBI inquiry.
12:33 Diabetes drug may delay ageing: study:
A widely prescribed type 2 diabetes drug slows down the ageing process by mimicking the effects of dieting, according to a study that used worms to investigate how the drug works.
Following a calorie-restricted diet has been shown to improve health in later life and extend lifespan in a number of animals, ranging from the simple worm to rhesus monkeys.
The type 2 diabetes drug metformin has been found to have similar effects in animals but until now it was not clear exactly how the drug delays the ageing process.
Researchers looked at the effects of metformin on C elegans worms that were grown in the presence of E coli bacteria, a relationship similar to that which humans have with the 'healthy' bacteria in our gut.
They found that the worms treated with metformin lived longer only when the E coli strain they were cultured with was sensitive to the drug.
11:15 Anna Hazare ready to launch agitation against UPA:
Veteran social activist Anna Hazare, who left for Amritsar to begin a series of public rallies under the banner of 'Janatantra Yatra' to garner people's support against the Congress-led UPA Government, on Saturday said the country can witness a change only through a mass movement.
"The public needs to be awakened and organised on matters like the Jan Lokpal Bill, Right to Reject. The country can witness a change only through a mass movement," said Hazare.
"If all crusaders come together on one platform, only then will change come in the country. Separately our power is scattered, but together we stand united," he added.
Hazare will address eight public rallies in Punjab during his five-day ''Janatantra Yatra'' beginning today from Amritsar.
Hazare, who had split with Arvind Kejriwal in September last year on the question of the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge, visited the Aam Aadmi Party chief at his indefinite hunger strike site in Delhi last night and urged him to call off his fast citing his deteriorating health.
10:46 Cricketer Ryder out of coma, no memory of attack:
New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder emerged from an induced coma today, but faced "a big battle" ahead as he recovered from a vicious assault, his manager Aaron Klee said.
Ryder required medical assistance to keep breathing when he was rushed to hospital in a critical condition early on Thursday morning.
He suffered serious head and lung injuries after being attacked as he left a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch.
Two men have been charged with assault and police said they were not looking for anyone else, although witnesses said up to four people were involved in what they believed was an unprovoked attack.
"Jesse's condition has improved to the extent that he is now out of the induced coma and off the ventilator. Jesse is awake and talking to us," Klee said.
10:46 Swiss woman's gang-rape trial to begin today:
The trial in the case of gang-rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh' Datia district is set to begin on Saturday.
The trial will begin in the court of Special Additional District Judge (ADJ) Jitendra Kumar Sharma.
The arrested accused were identified as Baba, Bhutha, Rampro, Gaza alias Brajesh, Vishnu Kanjar and Nitin Kanjar, police said.
Except Nitin and Vishnu Kanjar, all others have been charged with gang-rape.
The investigation officer, NS Rawat, in-charge of women's cell, filed a 100-page chargesheet on March 26 against the accused under various sections of gang-rape and robbery.
In order to prove the charges against the accused in the March 15 Swiss woman gang-rape case, police have said they would count more on the scientific evidence than traditional methods like identification parade.
09:57 North Korea says at state of war with South:
North Korea has said that it had formally entered a "state of war" with South Korea and warned that any provocation would swiftly escalate into a nuclear conflict.
"As of now, inter-Korea relations enter a state of war and all matters between the two Koreas will be handled according to wartime protocol," the North said in a statement attributed to all government bodies and institutions.
It is the latest in a string of dire threats from Pyongyang that have been matched by tough warnings from South Korea and the United States, fuelling international concerns that the situation is spiralling out of control.
"The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over," said the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The two Koreas have always technically remained at war because the 1950-53 Korean War concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.
The North had announced earlier this month that it was ripping up the armistice and other bilateral peace pacts signed with Seoul in protest against South Korea-US joint military exercises.
"This is not really a new threat -- just part of a series of provocative threats," the South's Unification Ministry said in a statement.
09:47 Former Odisha law minister arrested in dowry case:
The Odisha police on Saturday arrested former law minister Raghunath Mohanty in connection with the alleged harassment of his daughter-in-law for dowry.
The development came days after the Odisha High Court dismissed the petition of Mohanty seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR) registered against him and his family.
Mohanty had also applied for interim protection for his family and himself against possible police action. The court refused to grant any interim protection.
Mohanty, five-time legislator from Basta constituency in Balasore district, had remained incommunicado ever since he resigned from the state Cabinet on March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law accused him of torturing her for dowry.
Mohanty was holding the portfolios of urban development, law, and information technology.
In her complaint at the police station in the district headquarters town of Balasore, about 220 km from here, the victim Barsa Swony Choudhury, who holds a Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree, on March 14 alleged that she was tortured by her husband Raja Shree, both physically and mentally, ever since she married him in June 2012.
09:47 Myanmar unrest death toll reaches 43:
The death toll from recent communal violence in central Myanmar has risen to 43 with more than 1,300 homes and other buildings destroyed, state media reported.
Sixty-eight people have been arrested in connection with the Buddhist-Muslim unrest, which has left 11,376 people homeless, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.
In total, 163 incidences of violence have been reported in 15 townships, it added.
Previously the official death toll stood at 40.
The situation appears to have calmed since President Thein Sein on Thursday vowed a tough response against those behind the violence, which he attributed to "political opportunists and religious extremists".
09:46 White House invites Indian-American hockey player for Easter:
Indian-American hockey player Ajai Dhadwal has been invited to the White House for the day long of fun-filled Easter celebrations on Monday, which among others include a yoga session.
More than 30,000 people from all over the US have been given tickets for the day-long Easter celebrations on the White House lawns.
This year's Easter celebrations at the White House is focused on promoting health and wellness with the theme, 'Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!'
The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling.
This year's special guest is Robby Novak, better known as Kid President.
America's eminent field hockey player Ajai Dhadwal is the only Indian-American among the several dozen talent line ups announced by the White House yesterday.
A resident of California Dhadwal, 20, has been a member of the US national team.
09:45 Two charged over attack on Jesse Ryder:
Police say they have charged two men and are not seeking anyone else over an attack on New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder, who gave a thumbs up to family members in the hospital as his condition improves.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer of Christchurch Police said a 20-year-old man and a 37-year-old relative will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday on assault charges.
Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, said medical staff at Christchurch Hospital were slowly bringing Ryder out of the induced coma he was placed in after suffering severe head injuries.
Klee said "they're working on the level of sedation for the coma to a level where they can talk to Jesse and make him become aware and we got a thumbs up from him".
More than 40 people, including Ryder's partner Ally, held a candlelight vigil for the cricketer, who suffered a fractured skull and punctured lung in the late-night attack outside a Christchurch bar.