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LIVE! Indian-origin academics in UK ‘dread’ Modi in power, issue open letter

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April 22, 2014


23:49  Teenager alleges gang rape by school students:  A 14-year-old girl has accused four class VIII students of raping her in captivity between April 16 and 18 at Nagia village in Lohardaga district, the police said today.

The victim, a class VI student, today registered a complaint with the police alleging that the boys called her over by phone to a house where they kept her in captivity and raped her.

The accused were identified and search was on to apprehend them, the sources said.
23:15  CNN reports: Acting Ukraine president calls for relaunch of anti-terrorist operation in east after politician "tortured to death."
22:48  Indian-origin academics in UK dread Modi in power, issue open letter:  Around 75 professors and other academics of Indian origin working at some of Britain's prestigious institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford university and London School of Economics today issued an open letter, sharply attacking Narendra Modi and saying, "The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread".

The academics led by Prof. Chetan Bhatt and Gautam Appa of the London School of Economics issued the open letter in the UK's Left-leaning 'Independent' newspaper. "As the people of India vote to elect their next government, we are deeply concerned at the implications of a Narendra Modi-led BJP government for democracy, pluralism and human rights in India," the letter said targeting the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

"Modi is embedded in the Hindu Nationalist movement, namely the RSS and other Sangh Parivar groups, with their history of inciting violence against minorities.

Some of these groups stand accused in recent terrorist attacks against civilians," the letter titled "The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread" reads.
21:51  UK tabloid's ex-editor admits approving police payment:  Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson admitted in court today to approving a payment to a royal policeman for information, despite warnings it could land him in jail. 

 The 46-year-old, who later became Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief, said he simply "rubber-stamped" the request by the royal editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid.
21:24  MH370 relatives reject Malaysian conclusions on plane:  Relatives of flight MH370 passengers have denounced the Malaysian government's suggestion that it would soon look into issuing death certificates for those on board despite no proof yet of what happened to the plane. 

The statement, issued in response to a weekend briefing that Malaysian officials gave to families in Kuala Lumpur, also called for a review of satellite data that Malaysia says indicates the plane likely crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
21:18  Shazia Ilmi responds to controversial video; says it's a play of words:  In the video, Aam Aadmi Party's Shazia Ilmi is seen asking some Muslim leaders to vote for the AAP instead of Congress. She says, "Muslims are too secular and should be communal which is for their own good." after which she is also adds, "I know it's controversial, but it's also necessary".

She then defended herself by saying that it was only a play of words, and that she was asking people to vote for Arvind Kejriwal, who is not a Muslim. She went on to say, that she was only making fun of people who say that Muslims are communal, and that communalism doesn't mean inciting hatred.
20:02   EC bans BJP's Giriraj Singh for his 'go to Pak' remarks:  

The Election Commission has banned BJP's Giriraj Singh from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand for his 'Pakistan' remarks.   Singh had made the remarks at a meeting on Saturday.

 

"Those who want to stop Narendra Modi (from becoming prime minister) are looking towards Pakistan. In the coming days, they will have no place in India. They will only have place in Pakistan," Singh had said."These statements promote feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will and create disharmony between different communities... and are also likely to disturb peace and public tranquillity," the Election Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.

19:04  Campaigning ends in Tamil Nadu:  The curtains came down on the more than a month-long mercury-rising campaign for the April 24 Lok Sabha elections, as the stage is set for polling which will decide the fate of over 800 candidates from AIADMK, DMK, BJP, Congress and DMDK besides others.

The high-decibel vote canvassing exercise was dominated by a series of barbs, charges and counter-charges as arch rivals DMK and AIADMK are eyeing the results as a self assessment exercise ahead of assembly polls, just two years away.

Top leaders across the political spectrum -- Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, L K Advani, Prakash Karat, J Jayalalithaa, M Karunanidhi and M K Stalin among others criss-crossed the roads and airspace of Tamil Nadu, lighting up the electoral battle that is poised for a close finish due to a five-cornered contest.
18:30  Why didn't Priyanka counsel husband on mango people comment, asks BJP:  Hours after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at allegations against her husband Robert Vadra, the BJP responded with a sharper attack that referenced a two-year-old controversy over his comments on "mango people."

"Those in public life are often hurt with charges, may we ask Priyanka Gandhi where were the emotions when Vadra talked about the mango people?" the BJP's Nirmala Sitaraman said today.
18:28  Campaigning ends in seven LS constituencies in Bihar:   Campaigning came to an end in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar today, including in high- profile Bhagalpur seat which would test acceptability of Narendra Modi by the minority.

Supual, Araria, Kisanganj, Katihar, Purnia and Banka besides Bhagalpur constituencies, spread over eight districts will go to the hustings in the third phase of polling in the state on April 24. The seven parliamentary constituencies are located in Seemanchal areas of Bihar bordering with Bangladesh and Nepal.
18:09  LIVE! Shazia Ilmi tells Muslims: It's time to be communal:   AAP member Shazia Ilmi trending on Twitter for a purported conversation with Muslims encouraging them to be communal. She says that they should think about their own "faayda' and shouldn't try to be too secular. "Itne secular na baniye'' she says and then adds, "Musalmano ko communal hona padega.''  Watch the video.

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
18:01  Muslim students served food last, says rights group:  Some teachers force children from lower castes and minority religions to clean toilets and sit separately from their classmates as part of "persistent" discrimination in classrooms, a rights group said Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW)  said pupils from marginalised communities often drop out of school and start working as labourers rather than face continued humiliation at the hands of teachers and principals. Read
17:32  Netaji's family campaigning against kin:  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grand nephew and Trinamool's Lok Sabha candidate Sugata Bose is facing tough opposition from his family with over 30 kin jumping in the ring to campaign against him.

Sugato, a Harvard University professor, is contesting from Jadavpur constituency where his family members have gone out to campaign against him and support CPI(M) candidate Sujan Chakraborty instead. Read
17:30  UPA move to appoint next army chief morally incorrect:VK Singh:  Former Army chief and BJP's Lok Sabha candidate V K Singh today attacked the UPA government for its move to appoint the next Army chief, saying it was "morally and ethically" incorrect and the new Cabinet formed after the polls should take a final call on the issue.

In a statement, General (retd) Singh clarified his stand on the appointment of present chief Gen Bikram Singh's successor, and said his decision to impose a 'discipline and vigilance (DV)' ban on Lt Gen Dalbir Suhag was justified as the court martial had found all the accused guilty.

"The selection process (for Army chief's appointment) is an ongoing business and it should continue, with the final clearance being made by the new Cabinet.

Read:The General rides into battle
17:14  '@jhunjhunwala  Of all the scams Robert Vadra has done, getting Priyanka to marry him is his biggest scam.
17:00  Open letter to Modi: You have failed as a healer:  Dear Mr Modi,

'I see you as a man who has split the nation into two. Vajpayee or even Advani would hold it together. One senses you cannot do this. To heal, to apologise, and to glue together a nation seems beyond you.

Shiv Visvanathan

Read the eminent professor's open letter to Narendra Modi on Rediff.com. 

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
16:52  In Indias schools, discrimination drives dropouts:  At the government school in this north Indian village, 8-year-old Dilip Banwasi is being taught his place. His third-grade teacher makes him sweep the classroom floor and sit in the back row. When it is time for lunch, Dilip -- a member of a low social class referred to as "rat catchers'' -- is among the last few to be served. At recess, his classmates warn, "Don't play with us,' Dilip says. Read

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
16:49  LIVE! Amit Shah targets Rahul: If he becomes PM, he will ask his mom what to say :   Amit Shah addressing a rally in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Targeting Rahul Gandhi, Shah says, "Kabhi mummy ne kuch keh diya, abhi behen ne kuch keh diya, bhagwan nah karey yeh PM ban jaye, toh puchengey mummy main kya karun? Sometimes his mother, sometimes his sister speak, God forbid he becomes PM, he will ask his mother, 'what do I say'.

Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah was booked by the Bijnor administration for asking voters to take "revenge for the insult" during the violence in Muzaffarnagar last year.

"In Uttar Pradesh, especially western UP, it is an election for honour. It is an election to take revenge for the insult. It an election to teach a lesson to those who have committed injustice," he told a meeting of community leaders early this month. 

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections

16:15  Rahul holds roadshow for Jitendra, press conference cancelled:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today held a roadshow for the party candidate and Union Minister of State for Defence Bhanwar Jitendra Singh here on the last day of campaigning for the Alwar Lok Sabha elections due on April 24.

Large number of party supporters as well as people from parts of the constituency lined up along the road side to greet them.

Rahul along with Singh and PCC President Sachin Pilot greeted people from an open-roof SUV amid tight security arrangements.

The show began from Rao Tukaram circle and ended at Ashok circle after covering parts of the city. Gandhi was scheduled to address a press conference at the Ashok circle but it was cancelled at the last moment, and he left the city in a helicopter.
15:42  LIVE! Sena distances itself from Sainik who said 'Modi will destroy Pak':  Narendra Modi today appeared to condemn virulent anti-Muslim remarks by one-time associate Pravin Togadia, but his party finds itself entangled in a new episode of hate remarks.

At a rally in Mumbai yesterday, just a few minutes before Modi arrived, a leader from the Shiv Sena said to the large crowd, -- "Narendra Modi will destroy Pakistan within six months if he comes to power."

The remarks by Ramdas Kadam are the latest in a series of comments by hardliners that are threatening to over-shadow the election.

Kadam has since denied the remarks.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has already distanced himself from Kadam and says the party's views do not reflect Kadam's view.
15:14  Sex workers use elections to find voice:  Indian politicians are courting women in this year's national elections, but one group of women still feels ignored: sex workers.

Decades of being snubbed and harassed by the police, the government and the general populace have convinced many sex workers there is no place for them in the political process. Read
15:09  Modi crossing all limits in misleading people: Sonia:   Narendra Modi has "crossed all limits in misleading people in his bid to get to the prime minister's chair", Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said continuing her tirade against the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

"Some parties are there whose main agenda is to spread lies against the Congress. Especially, the BJP's leader is crossing all limits to mislead people. To get Prime Minister's chair he is creating a craze in the whole country," Gandhi said here without naming Modi.

"It seems as if they don't have faith in our country's social, political and constitutional system," she told an election rally here in support of party candidate Deepa Dasmunshi who is fighting from Raiganj constituency in North Dinajpur district.
15:06  Uttarakhand CM's wife served EC notices for model code violation :  Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat's wife and Congress nominee from Haridwar seat Renuka Rawat has been served two back-to-back notices by the EC for violating the model code of conduct by allegedly holding a dance performance at a public meeting and advertising her website on social media without permission.

The latest notice was issued to her yesterday for a dance show staged at a public meeting which she was to address on Sunday.
15:05  Rasheed Kidwai: With Priyanka coming out in support of Robert Vadra's business dealings, Congressmen dilemma is over. Party deciding to swim/sink with family.
14:20  Is the Sangh Parivar shifting gears?:  BJP sources deny that the party is working on a plan to introduce a 'communal' element at a time when LS elections are entering a crucial phase. But actions speak otherwise. Read
14:10  Babul Supriyo surrenders and gets bail:   BJP candidate and popular singer Babul Supriyo today surrendered before a local court and obtained bail in connection with a criminal case for blockade of National Highway 60 allegedly by him along with party workers on April 12.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Aniruddha Maity granted him bail for 14 days till May 5 next.

Supriyo, BJP candidate for Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, had allegedly blocked the National Highway 60, near Raniganj, to air protest against an attack on a party procession allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters on April 12.
14:04  The Supreme Court agrees to hear in open court a curative petition of gay rights activists for decriminalising gay sex. The curative plea challenging the SC verdict against gay sex will be taken up next week.
13:39  Modi clicks a selfie:  Narendra Modi just took a selfie.The BJP's tech savvy prime ministerial candidate joined forces with Chetan Bhagat, the author of "What Young India Wants' for the photo. Read
13:36  Jaitley flays Amarinder on Tytler, tax issue:  Taking a swipe at Amarinder Singh's royal background, BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said the politics of the Congress leader reflects his "feudal mindset" as he has been caught "lying with a straight face" on the property tax and Jagdish Tytler issue. Jaitley, who is pitted against Amarinder in this seat, also charged that his rival lives in a "world of sycophants".
13:34  Modi will be best PM in India's history: Raman Singh:  Rejecting claims of infighting within BJP, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh says Narendra Modi will be best Prime Minister in the history of the country.

"There is no fight within BJP and Narendra Modi is our prime ministerial candidate. All the opinion polls are confirming that NDA will form government comfortably on its own with Modi as Prime Minister," Singh said when asked whether there will be another consensus candidate in case BJP fails to get 272 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

He alleged that the Congress is mired in corruption and claimed only BJP can fight this menace.
13:26  'If you have the guts, file a case against Giriraj Singh':  Tweet karke logon ko gumraah kar rahe hain, himmat hai to Giriraj Singh ke khilaaf karvaayi karein na, says Rajiv Shukla on Narendra Modi.

In tweets this morning, Modi said, "I disapprove any such irresponsible statement & appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so. Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP's well-wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development & good governance."
13:07  Ending the gender binary:  The Supreme Court's ruling on transgenders is cause for celebration, not just for sexual minorities but for all minorities. Read 
12:59  LIVE! Priyanka at Rae Bareli: People are insulting my family, my husband for political gains:  Priyanka Gandhi speaking in her mother, Sonia Gandhi's constituency in Rae Bareli. "You have given a lot to my family, so I won't ask you for your votes. This country accepted my mother despite the fact that she was not born here. And now people are insulting my family, my husband for political gains. The more they insult my family, the stronger we emerge. I won't ask you to vote for Sonia Gandhi, but vote for your country, for the future of your children. Vote for a country where people across religions and caste can live together peacefully," she says amid cheers from the crowds.  
12:52  Modi will destroy Pakistan in 6 months: Sena leader ignites controversy:  A leader of the Shiv Sena, the BJP's oldest ally, has said at a rally in Mumbai that Narendra Modi will "destroy Pakistan within six months if he comes to power". Sena's Ramdas Kadam made the statement moments before Mr Modi arrived for the rally, along with Uddhav Thackeray, the chief of the Shiv Sena.  Read

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
12:38  The power of words :  Elections always throw up inventive rhetoric, catchy one-liners, barbs, and taunts. These are amplified even more when social media rule the roost among the young and trendy in particular.

Nonetheless, it is disheartening that in a country that otherwise takes pride in its rich traditions, great love for poetry and elevating metaphors in almost every regional language, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election the campaign styles of the two major political players at the national level have largely smacked of clichd and stereotyped labels.  Read more
12:32  2G: Court dismisses plea of accused on draft questionnaire:   A Delhi court has dismissed a plea of a private firm executive, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case, that long and common questions have been put to each accused even though they were not relevant to them.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini rejected the petition of Asif Balwa, Director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Limited, observing that in a case of conspiracy, every conspirator was an "agent" of another. "....This is a case of conspiracy and every circumstance is required to be put to each accused. In such a case, every conspirator is an agent of other conspirators," the judge said.
12:25  LIVE! Court declares Rohit Shekhar as ND Tiwari's natural son, 'can't deny him in public':  In part II of a six-year legal battle, the Delhi High Court has declared Rohit Shekhar as the natural son of N D Tiwari and has warned Tiwari from denying Rohit as son in public.
 
The veteran Congress politician finally accepted Rohit Shekhar as his son in March this year. I have accepted that Rohit Shekhar is my son.

"The DNA test also proved he is my biological son," Tiwari had said his his first ever public acknowledgement of the 34-year-old and his mother Ujjwala Sharma.
12:12  BJP blocks its website access in Pakistan:  People in Pakistan cannot access the BJP website as the saffron party has blocked its Internet page though its high-profile Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's portal can be accessed for those who want to know about him.

"Error 1009 The owner of this website (bjp.org) has banned your IP address (---) on the country or region you are accessing it from," says the page as one logs in from here. People logging in from Pakistan have to use Virtual Private Network, masking Pakistani IP address to log into the BJP website.

The party had attached on its Twitter handle links to a 'charge sheet' it had recently released against the UPA government but the links did not work for those logging in from Pakistan.

Some questioned the logic of blocking the access saying even if someone fears hacking, hackers don't use their own IP addresses.
11:57  BJP president Rajnath Singh is expected to address six election meetings in  Hardoi, Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Jalaun and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh today.

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
11:46  Jitesh Pillai on Rani Mukerji: The earthy Rani went a dramatic metamorphosis first when he she was linked to a married actor... and then when she got involved with yrf scion. Off record she's as earthy and colorful. But once the camera and dictaphone is switched on she becomes the quintessential yrf memsaab. I remember rani used to be miss congeniality. Great friends with aishwarya, kareena, also preity. Then like all showbiz friendships fizzled.
11:34  Omar condemns attack on political workers in Pulwama:  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today condemned the attacks on political workers in Pulwama district, saying these were carried out to instill fear among the people to enforce a poll boycott.

Omar said the decision to boycott polls should be based on conviction and not fear. "I unequivocally condemn the attacks in Pulwama that left three political workers dead. By all means call for a boycott of the polls," Omar tweeted.

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
11:24  A disastrous PM, but a conscientious friend :   It is going to be the last month of Manmohan Singh's tenure as the country's prime minister. Even if all the opinion polls are just bunkum and the Congress is once again able to put together a ramshackle coalition to form the new government, it would be headed by a different individual. So that is that. Read
11:19  Raheel Khursheed @Raheelk  tweets: If Saif & Kareena are called Saifeena, will Aditya Chopra & Rani Mukherjee be called Adani? Yes please.
11:18  Pawar slams Modi, warns agst "power concentration" in one man:  NCP chief Sharad Pawar feels there are grim portents for Indian democracy in "concentration of power" in the hands of BJP's PM aspirant Narendra Modi as seen by the marginalisation of party veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

He feels strongly about Modi "propagating" the slogan of a Congress-free India, which has left everybody "shaken", and the BJP leader's prediction that Lok Sabha polls will herald the end of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, saying the family was "symbolic representative of the unity of India".

Follow our election tweets @RediffElections
11:12  LIVE! Rani on her wedding: Missed Yash uncle, but my fairy tale will continue:   Rani Mukherjee's statement on Twitter:

"I would like to share the happiest day of my life with all my fans all over the world whose love and blessings have been part of my journey all these years.

"I know that all my well-wishers who have waited for this day will be really happy for me.

"It was a beautiful wedding in the Italian countryside with just a few of our close family and friends with us.

"The one person I missed terribly was Yash Uncle, but I know he was there with us in spirit and his love and blessings will always be with Adi and me.

"I have always believed in fairy-tales and with God's grace my life has been exactly like one, and now as I enter the most important chapter of my life - the fairy-tale continues."
11:03  Filmfare editor Jitesh Pillai tweets: It's finally happened. So rani mukherjee got married to aditya chopra yesterday in a small ceremony in Italy. Family, close friends attended.

It is believed that the couple got married on April 21.
10:57  LIVE! Aditya Chopra, Rani Mukherjee get married in Italy :   And here's what Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweets: "Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukerji got married last night on 21st April in Italy. The wedding was a very small intimate affair."

There had been news doing the rounds that Bollywood actor Rani Mukherji and Aditya Chopra's much anticipated wedding was scheduled to take place on the 14th February at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, but obviously that was a rumour.


10:49  Won't stop opposing Narendra Modi even if it means going to Pakistan: Omar:  Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said he will not stop opposing Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, even if that means having to take a bus to Pakistan. Read more
10:46  BJP's well wishers are deviating the campaign: Modi:  
Sensing that irresponsible statements by party leaders and members of the Sangh Parivar may derail his pro-development poll campaign, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday sent out a stern message saying petty statements by claiming to be well wishers of BJP are deviating the campaign. 

Though Modi did not name any individual, Modi expression of unhappiness can be seen as his disapproval of the vitriolic rants by the likes of Pravin Togadia and BJP leader Giriraj Singh. 

Modi tweeted: 

"With great happiness, the entire nation is looking towards BJP for going to people solely on the issues of good governance & development."

"Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP's well wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development & good governance." 
10:00  Sensex hits new record high of 22,812:  
The benchmark BSE Sensex today soared to a new record high of 22,812.36 in opening trade on sustained foreign capital inflows and tracking positive domestic cues including robust corporate earnings.

The NSE index Nifty also rose 9.55 points, or 0.14 per cent, to trade at a fresh high of 6,827.20, surpassing the previous intra-day high of 6,825.45 reached yesterday. 

The 30-share index, which had gained over 487 points in the previous two sessions, climbed to another record of 22.812.36 by rising 47.53 points, or 0.20 per cent. 

All the sectoral indices, led by realty and capital goods, were trading in positive territory with gains up to 0.72 per cent.

Brokers said sustained buying by funds and retail investors, driven by encouraging fourth quarter earnings by bluechip companies and positive economic factors, helped the Sensex and Nifty to scale life-time highs. 

The BSE realty sector index gained the most by rising 0.72 per cent, while capital goods sector index up 0.60 per cent.
09:58  Ramdev ignores EC, seeks votes for Uma Bharti at yoga camp:  
Overlooking the directive by the Election Commission, yoga guru Baba Ramdev has sought votes for Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate from Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi constituency, Uma Bharti. 

At a yoga camp in Jhansi, Ramdev urged his supporters to cast their ballots in favour of Bharti. He later defended his act, saying the event was non-political.
 
Last week, the Election Commission had asked district election officers not to grant permission for activities like yoga camps if there was possibility of their misuse for political campaigning. 

"It has come to notice of the commission that in certain places while permission was sought by certain organisations to organise non-political activites like yoga shivirs etc. the platform was used for political campaigning in clear violation of the condition for which permission was granted," the poll panel had said.
09:57  Confirmed death toll in S Korea ferry disaster passes 100:  
The confirmed death toll in South Korea's ferry disaster crossed 100 today, but almost twice that number remained unaccounted for nearly a week into the rescue and recovery effort. 

The official toll provided by the coastguard stood at 104, with 198 still missing. The 6,825-tonne Sewol was carrying 476 people -- most of them schoolchildren -- when it capsized and sank last Wednesday.

Some 174 people, including the captain and most of his crew, were rescued. 

The expected final death toll of around 300 would make this one of South Korea's worst peacetime disasters. 
09:56  Mexico bids farewell to Garcia Marquez:  
Mexico has bid farewell to its beloved adopted son, Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in a national tribute filled with the late Nobel winner's favourite roses and music. 

A coffee-coloured urn containing his ashes was placed on a podium, surrounded by yellow roses, in Mexico City's domed Fine Arts Palace as a string quartet played classical music. 

Dozens of guests applauded when his widow, Mercedes Batch, and other relatives dressed in black arrived at the ornate cultural centre, where Mexico pays tribute to its late artistic icons yesterday. 

Hundreds of people lined up outside the palace to pay their last respects to the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

Known affectionately as "Gabi," Garcia Marquez died Thursday in the Mexico City house where he lived for decades with his wife and two sons. He was 87.
09:47  Campaigning in 117 constituencies for 6th phase to end today:  
Campaigning for the crucial sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections in 117 constituencies will end on Tuesday. The 117 constituencies across 12 states will go for voting on April 24. 

Milind Deora, Meera Sanyal, Shahnawaz Hussain, Tariq Anwar, Mohammad Taslimuddin are amongst the big names in the fray.

The Constituencies going to the polls will see big rallies throughout the day. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be holding three rallies in Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh while Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be holding rallies in Chhattisgarh and Mathura.

Mumbai, all of Tamil Nadu and parts of Uttar Pradesh will go to polls on Thursday. Other states to go to polls include parts of Bihar (7), West Bengal(6), Chhattisgarh(7), Madhya Pradesh(10), Rajasthan(5), West Bengal(6), Puducherry(1) and Jharkhand (4).
02:27  Defamatory pamphlet against Hema: Admin registers case:  A case was today registered against an unknown publisher, printer and distributer for allegedly defaming BJP candidate Hema Malini, a senior district official said.

A pamphlet, questioning the qualification and religion of the actress-turned-politician, was circulated with today's newspapers, Assistant District Electoral Officer Dhirendra Singh Sachan said.

The pamphlet did not had the name of publisher, printer or distributer in violation of EC's regulation, he said, adding it only had the name of an unknown outfit 'Yuva Jagriti Abhiyan'.

"Efforts are being made to identify those responsible for circulating the malicious pamphlets," the officer said.
01:29  Five Pakistani police die in gun battle with militants:  At least five policemen were killed in a shootout with militants in the capital of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan tonight.

Unidentified armed militants ambushed a police mobile van and opened indiscriminate firing in Badabair village, a rural locality in Peshawar, triggering a gun battle, the police said. The firing between the militants and policemen continued for over an hour.

At least five police personnel were killed, including an Inspector, and several others injured in the shootout, police said. The injured and dead were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital. The police have cordoned off the area and a search operation has been launched to nab the culprits.
01:09  Cases of violation of MCC slapped on RLD, AAP candidates:  Sitting MP and Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate from Mathura LS seat Jayant Chaudhary and AAP nominee Anuj Garg have been booked for alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct, the police said today.

In the first incident, a case was registered against Chaudhary after sub divisional magistrate (Sadar) Rajesh Kumar found that he had organised a public meeting on Saturday last at Pushp Vaitka without taking prior permission from the district officials, a police official said, adding it was also in violation of section 144 of CrPC.

Sitting Congress MLA Pradeep Mathur had also participated in the meeting. Also, the RLD candidate had organised a feast in which over 1,000 people had participated, he added.

In another incident of violation of MCC, AAP candidate from Mathura Anuj Garg was booked for organising a press meet without taking prior permission from the Electoral office.
00:03  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  J-K: Sarpanch, village official shot dead in Pulwama
Police launch inquiry into Togadia's 'hate speech'
Modi's office was directly involved in Prajapati murder case: Sibal
EC orders FIR against BJP leader Giriraj Singh for objectionable remark
'Congress trembles when they hear Modi's name'
Three-judge panel formed to probe attack on Hamid Mir
BJP trying to create two Indias for corporates and poor: Rahul

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