23:04 Columnist Raza Rumi fired at in Lahore, driver killed: Dawn
reports: An attack on noted columnist and TV anchor Raza Rumi led to the unfortunate death of his driver Mustafa on Friday evening.Raza
Ahmed, popularly known as Raza Rumi, was injured in an attack along with his guard and driver near Raja Market.
Read the full story here
23:01 Lashker-e-Tayiba's shadow outfit owns up Jammu terror strike:
A lesser-known militant outfit 'Al Shohada Brigade', believed to be a shadow outfit of Lashker-e -Tayiba terror outfit, today claimed responsibility for the twin attacks in Jammu region which left three people, including an army man, dead.
A 'spokesperson' of the outfit called some news organisations in Srinagar and claimed the responsibility for the attack. The outfit's name was first circulated on September 26 last year when it claimed the responsibility for twin attacks on police station in Hira Nagar and an army camp in Sambha of Jammu region in which 12 people, including Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh, were killed.
However, after the militants were killed, it was clearly established by the police that the suicide attackers belonged to banned Lashker-e-Taiba terror group.
22:19 Will continue as BJP chief if party comes to power: Rajnath:
Expressing hope that his party would get majority in Lok Sabha polls, BJP National President Rajnath Singh today said Narendra Modi will become next Prime Minister and he would continue as the party president.
"I am sure that BJP alliance will get 272 plus seats and Narendra Modi will become next Prime Minister...", Singh told reporters when asked about possibilities of his name being put forward for the top post if BJP did not get majority.
Asked whether he would take some important post in BJP government, if it is formed, Singh emphasised, "I will remain party president."
On the issue of terrorism, Singh said his party government would prepare a comprehensive plan to deal with it but it would be ensured that the federal structure was not affected.
To a question about alleged RSS intervention in declaration of tickets and other decisions, Singh said that it was not so.
22:12 Tewari admitted to AIIMS, likely to undergo surgery:
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who has been unwell for the past several days, was on Friday admitted in AIIMS and is expected to undergo a surgery on Saturday.
"He has been admitted and is in a private ward at AIIMS. He will have to undergo a surgery tomorrow," a source close to the minister said.
The source added doctors of the nephrology department of the institute were attending to the minister's ailment.
Tewari, 48, has been unwell for quite some time and had undergone hospitalisation at a south Delhi hospital only a few days earlier.
The Union minister was expected to be Congress' candidate from Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency, from where he had won the election in 2009, but has not been fielded by his party this time.
Tewari had earlier said that he was not in the poll fray because of his health about which he is learnt to have conveyed to his party's leadership.
21:08 Modi sees terrorism through communal eyes: Nitish:
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today slammed his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi for allegedly seeing terrorism through 'communal' eyes.
"Only a person like him (Modi) can say what he has said about the terror attack at Bodh Gaya last year as he has a habit of seeing such incidents through communal eyes," Kumar said at an election meeting in favour of JD(U) nominee Jitan Ram Manjhi, contesting on Gaya (SC) Lok Sabha seat.
"For the Gujarat chief minister, all terror incidents are handiworks of the minority community who, he dislikes like an eyeshore," he said without taking Modi's name in retaliation to Modi's barb at him yesterday for failing to prevent serial blasts at Bodh Gaya due to 'vote bank' politics.
"Not only the Muslims, but he cannot stand an adversary like me... But I will continue to pinch him as I am an upright man who prides being a Bihari and an Indian," the senior JD(U) leader said.
He slammed the BJP prime ministerial hopeful for his views and questioned how a person (Modi), who unabashedly professes communal politics, could become the prime minister of a country.
20:16 Sabir Ali 'terrorist Bhatkal's friend', tweets BJP's Mukhtar Abbas:
Rift in the Bharatiya Janata Party out in the open. After B Sriramulu and Pramod Muthalik, now there is dissent over the induction of Sabir Ali, who was expelled from the JD-U.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi unhappy over Ali's induction terms him as "terrorist Bhatkal's friend". "Soon accepting Dawood (Ibrahim)...", he added.
Latest on elections: @RediffElections
19:24 Kejri does a Gandhi: Even if anyone hits me, still be nice to him :
The unidentified man has been hauled away by police after he got a severe thrashing from Kejriwal's supporters.
This is what Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in response to the 'action' his supporters took.
"We shud never never react violently. If u r a part of this movement - kasam khao kabhi haath nahi uthaoge, chahe kitna bada hamla kyon na ho.
If we ever become violent, the movementwud be finished. So, pl pl pl, in future, if anyone hits us including me, we shud be nice to him. I am deeply hurt by the reaction of our supporters. If we also react violently, then what is the difference betn them n us? But our supporters beat him up in retaliation. That is v wrong. That is not expected of us."
Latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
19:16 Arvind Kejriwal @ArvindKejriwal Someone hit me hard on my neck just now. This kimd of violent reaction is expected of them. It only shows their true character n desperation.
19:03 BJP film 'Nafrat Ke Saudagar' targets Cong for anti-Narendra Modi remarks:
On a day when a video of a Congress candidate threatening to "chop Modi into pieces" seeded a new political controversy, the BJP released a new four-minute film titled "Nafrat ke Saudagar" or "Merchants of Hatred."The name references Sonia Gandhi's controversial descriptor of Narendra Modi as "maut ke saudagar" or "Merchant of Death" in the campaign for the state election in Gujarat in 2007. Read more
18:56 Here's where the Hercules crashed :
The crash site of the IAF C-130 J aircraft, near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. Five people -- two Wing Commanders, two Squadron Leaders and another crew member were
killed in the Super Hercules Special Operations plane crash, defence PRO
told a news agency in Jaipur. The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry into the crash.
18:33 The MH 370 mystery:
The sighting of objects that could be debris from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, about 2,500 km from Perth, brings partial closure to the mystery over the missing aircraft. The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8 when it was headimg for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board. Read
18:30 Judged by deeds, not words:
Election manifestos of political parties tend to promise all things to all people. Promises cost nothing, and most manifestos would typically have some takeaways for the rich, the middle class and the poor in varying proportions. Predictably, the Congress election manifesto makes no radical break from the past. Read more
18:28 Cong disapproves of Masood's remarks against Modi:
Congress today disapproved of its Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood's controversial remarks threatening to "chop Narendra Modi into pieces".
"The Congress party abjures violence whether of language or otherwise. We are determined to fight BJP as also Narendra Modi politically in order to protect the idea of India", party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
He said Rahul Gandhi has always asked party men to restrain themselves from using objectionable remarks even against worst critics of Congress to ensure that the language and the words used never go beyond the realm of decency and decorum.
18:23 Ace shooter Rathore has 13 weapons:
Ace shooter and Olympic medallist Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore has 13 weapons, including eleven 0.12 Bore guns, in his assets worth Rs 6.41 crore.
Rathore (44), who is in political battlefield as BJP's candidate from Jaipur rural constituency, has eleven 0.12 Bore guns -- one purchased and 10 of them gifted.
He also possesses a 0.357 pistol and a rifle that was gifted, according to his affidavit. His wife Gayatri Rathore is the owner of assets worth Rs 1.87 crore. She is 50 per cent partner in a firm -- Top Gun.
17:56 Obama: Russia must pull back troops :
US President Barack Obama has urged Russia to stop "intimidating" Ukraine and reduce the number of troops it has on its border.
He also called on Russia to "de-escalate the situation" and begin negotiations with Kiev.
Russia is believed to have massed a force of several thousand troops close to the eastern frontier of Ukraine. Read more
17:53 Search area for MH370n moves 1,100 km away :
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has moved to a new part of the Indian Ocean due to a "credible lead".
The Australian and Malaysian governments say the search will now focus on an area 1,100km north-east of the previous zone.
The move was based on further analysis of radar data that showed the plane was going faster, thus using more fuel.
The Beijing-bound airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.
17:40 LIVE! JD-U reacts to rebel: BJP can recruit even Dawood Ibrahim :
JD-U leader KC Tyagi reacts to Sabir Ali joined the BJP today. Tyagi said, "BJP to Dawood Ibrahim ko bhi add kar sakti hai, hume afsos hai ki Sabir Ali humari party me the." (The BJP can even add Dawood Ibrahim to its party, we regret Sabir Ali was in our party.)
Ali was expelled from the JD-U for praising Narendra Modi.
Latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
17:29 BJP supporter Chetan Bhagat: AK's not a Pak agent :
Chetan Bhagat @chetan_bhagat Would be nice if AAP also stops doubting people's intentions or calling them agents of XYZ with no proof. It's wrong. Just as AK49 wrong. by the way, felt the AK49 comment was unnecessary. And AK ain't a Pak agent. C'mon now.
A day after Arvind Kejriwal announced he would take on Narendra Modi in Varanasi, the BJPs prime ministerial candidate described the Aam Aadmi Party leader as an agent of Pakistan and an enemy of India.
Modi did not mention Kejriwal by name, but spoke of an AK 49 who has just given birth to a new party, referring clearly to Kejriwals 49 days as chief minister of Delhi.Also read:
Why Modi attacked Kejriwal with AK 49 jibe.
17:22 The IAF men who died aboard the Herucles today. RIP :
Names of those who died in the Hercules crash near Gwalior today, tweeted by NDTV's Nitin Gokhale: Wing Commander Prashant Joshi, co-pilot Wing Commander Raji Nair, Squadron Leader Kaushik Mishra, Navigator Squadron Leader Ashish Yadav, Warrant Officer KP Singh. RIP
17:14 Is the Congress's diagnosis and cure all wrong?:
In the last 10 years, when the people looked at New Delhi, they saw two centres of power and not one decisive leader between them. There was nobody who could speak in a language people wanted to hear.
Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt reveals the true reason why the UPA appears rudderless on the eve of Election 2014. Read
17:09 The flight data recorder or the Black Box of the Hercules C-130 J aircraft which crashed near Gwalior has been recovered.
16:55 Why Kejriwal was always right :
Hours on, Arvind Kejriwal wakes up to the foreign funding story.
Arvind Kejriwal @ArvindKejriwal Delhi HC finds Cong, BJP guilty of foreign funding. Home ministry had defended both the parties. Both BJP n Cong had been accusing AAP of foreign funding whereas actually both of them were guilty.
If you've just joined us -- the Delhi High Court today held that funds received by Congress and BJP from UK-based Vedanta Resources' subsidiaries violates laws and directed authorities to take appropriate action within six months.
16:47 LIVE! Another defection? Cong leader praises Modi's poor roots, slams Rahul:
Another defection from the Congress to the BJP? Senior Congress leader Ramnarayan Meena today praised Narendra Modi, saying the Gujarat CM has risen to great heights on his abilities and knows the pangs of poverty.
He said that on other hand, Congress Vice President Rahul has "not
witnessed such hardships and is not aware about destitution. He needs a
better team to know the same".
"Modi has risen to such great heights from ground on the basis of his abilities and knows about the pangs of poverty," Meena said.
He, however, alleged that top industrialists of the country are in Modi's pockets. "The face of BJP is singularly Nardendra Modi who has Ambani and Adani in his left hand pocket and his party, the BJP, in his right hand pocket while the RSS is behind him," he said.
Union minister and Congress' Dausa candidate Namo Narain Meena may be pitted against his brother Harish, who is fighting on a BJP ticket, but he ruled out possibility of any rift in family due to the poll battle and left it to voters to decide who is the better of the two.
Latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
Rejoice! There's a new fiction/short story magazine called, The Affair, available online. Take a look.
Former JD(U) member Sabir Ali joined the BJP on Friday after being expelled from the party for praising Narendra Modi.
BJP leader Sushil Modi targets LK Advani, says mentors have become tormentors.
Latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
16:23 Uma will contest ONLY from Jhansi:
"As far as Uma Bharti is concerned, she will contest from Jhansi," BJP spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
Trivedi said candidates for Rae Bareli as well as Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting, are yet to be finalised.
There was speculation that the party was considering fielding Bharti, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, from Rae Bareli against Gandhi.
The speculation gathered momentum after Yoga guru Ramdev suggested it two days back.
The clearing of the air by the party came after Bharti herself asserted that she would not leave Jhansi where she has already been campaigning.
"I am thankful to Baba Ramdev for the proposal. But I cannot leave my Jhansi," Bharti said. She conveyed the decision to party chief Rajnath Singh.
16:18 Bundelkhand's daughter vs Italy's daughter, says Uma :
Uma Bharti had said that she wanted to contest from Jhansi. "I can't leave Jhansi, if they (BJP) want to add Rae Bareli, then can contest from both," she had said. "Mera saubhagya ki Bundelkhand ki beti ko mauka mila ki woh Italy ki beti ko rajniti se khaded de, par main Jhansi nai chhod sakti." (I have been fortunate that a daughter of Budelkhand was considered to uproot the daughter of Italy, but I cannot leave Jhansi.)
16:13 Uma Bharti will contest from Jhansi, says BJP:
Poll updates: The BJP has said that Uma Bharti will contest from Jhansi. So, that puts and end to the expected soap opera in Rae Bareli. Earlier reports had said that Uma Bharti would battle Sonia Gandhi in her home turf.
The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
16:02 Bizarre plea: Sahara asks staff to pay Rs 1 lakh each for Subrata's bail :
Unbelievable, but true. The Sahara Group is now asking its employees to pay up for Subrata Roy's bail amount. The Supreme Court has set an astounding bail amount of Rs 10,000 crore for Roy and two other directors. Sahara is asking its employees to pay Rs 1 lakh each.
The court has asked the group to pay Rs 5,000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of Rs 5,000 crore to secure the bail amount.
Yesterday, the Sahara Group told the Supreme Court that it was "virtually impossible" to meet with its demand of Rs 10,000 crore. The court has adjourned hearing till April 3. Till then, Roy will stay in jail.
Sahara's lawyer told the court that it was "highly unusual" to ask a person to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get bail.
Roy and two Sahara directors are in jail for contempt after they failed to appear before the apex court despite repeated summons in connection with a investors' funds case. Sahara group owes more than Rs 20,000 crores to its investors.
15:36 A group calling itself the Bundelkhand Vikas Sena attacks the Congress office in Lucknow.
15:34 LIVE! In a first, DMK uses 'forbidden' Hindi to woo North Indians in TN:
Hindi -- a language that was once anathema in Tamil Nadu -- is now being used with aplomb. No, Tamilians are not forsaking Tamil, but the canny DMK has taken to Hindi to woo North Indian voters from central Chennai.
In probably, what is a first, in the state, the DMK's Lok Sabha candidate from central Chennai - Dayanidhi Maran -- has been speaking in Hindi. Our sources tell us that he has memorised a few sentences in Hindi and has been using them every time he canvasses in these north Indian pockets.
"Maran participated in the Holi exhibition organised by the Rajasthan Youth Association at the YMCA grounds at Royapettah and wooed the electorate there," said Sanjay Bhansali of Sowcarpet. Maran asked the Marwari community to vote for him in Chennai and for the BJP in Rajasthan, said another member.
Apart from the Marwari community in Sowcarpet, who have been part of Chennai for many decades, the Hindi-speaking migrant workers have also increased the average Tamilian's tolerance to Hindi.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi's Hindi verses promoting brotherhood among communities have helped Maran go the extra mile in trying to attract the largely north Indian and Urdu speaking Muslim voters in Central Chennai.
With M K Stalin as the person in command of the party, a tough stance on Hindi has been put on the back burner as he is seen to be
accommodative of other cultures.
DMK has taken credit for Tamil being given the status of a classical language, but sharing power in Delhi has also meant that the leaders pick up a bit of Hindi. "This is also a major factor for the second-rung leaders going soft on the language issue," said Dravidian commentator Subagunarajan.
Pic: A poster of Dayanidhi Maran asking the people to vote for the sun symbol. The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
15:12 Gulberg fund embezzlement: HC stays Teesta's arrest till Apr 4:
The Gujarat High Court today stayed till April 4 the arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and son of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, Tanvir, in connection with the alleged fund embezzlement case involving the riot-ravaged Gulbarg Society.
Justice Anant Dave sent a notice to city Crime Branch while hearing the anticipatory bail application of Setalvad and others, and posted the matter for next hearing on April 4.
Setalvad, Anand, Tanvir, Gulbarg Society secretary Feroz Gulzar and chairman Salim Sandhi had yesterday moved the high court after a sessions court here rejected their bail plea on March 25.
In his arguments before the high court, Setalvad's counsel Dushyant Dave said the probe agency had falsely implicated Setalvad and others.
This is Teesta Setalvad's arguments to the prosecution. Read
15:03 At this time of change, the BJP represents a complex reality :
In his uncharacteristically over-stated proclamation of separation from the organization that had nurtured him, the veteran leader, Jaswant Singh, said that it was now a fight between the 'asli' (real) and 'nakli' (counterfeit) Bharatiya Janata Party.
Although his outburst was couched in anger at what he quite bizarrely described as the party's assault on his "territorial integrity' '" a convoluted way of saying that it had fielded another candidate in his "home' constituency -- the commentariat has broadly agreed with the suggestion that Singh's exit was a landmark event.Read
Swapan Dasgupta's column on the Telegraph today. The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
14:56 Former Mumbai top cop AN Roy to be adivisor to Andhra governor :
The Union Home Ministry has finalised two names as advisors to the Governor of Andhra Pradesh ESL Narasimhan
One, is the former Chief Secretary of Rajasthan -- Salauddin Ahmed, an IAS officer.
The other name that is doing the rounds is A N Roy, an IPS officer and former police commissioner of Mumbai.
Salauddin Ahmed was the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan and retired from the IAS in 2012. He was considered to be close to the former Rajashtan CM Ashok Ghelot. Both advisors will reach Hyderabad at the earliest and coordinate with the administration till the Andhra Pradesh assembly and Lok Sabha elections are completed.
14:43 Cong unlikely to field Digvijaya against Modi in Varanasi:
The Congress is possibly changing its strategy after deliberations -- Digvijaya Singh will not be deployed against Narendra Modi in Varanasi. The final candidate is likely to be a Brahmin or a Bhumihar without much star value. The strong caste-based grouping will be taken into consideration.
Digvijaya, who is the Congress General Secretary and a Rahul Gandhi loyalist Singh had shown keen interest in fighting against Modi in Varanasi. Initially, Anand Sharma too was keen to be the Varanasi candidate.
14:37 Alagiri-Chidambaram catch up at Chennai airport :
Ever since his suspension and dismissal from the party, Alagiri has been meeting leaders from parties in the NDA and Congress -- this time, it's Chidambaram.
Alagiri met the Union Finance Minister at the airport in Chennai on Friday, but refused to clarify what they discussed.
"We have been in the government for nine years. We discussed a lot of things (of common interest),' he said, without elaborating.
Chidambaram was en route to Sivaganga to campaign for his son Karthi. Alagiri had yesterday called on his half-sister and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Chennai, setting off speculation on the purpose of the meeting as their supporters have been sidelined in selection of candidates for the LS polls, while Stalin's loyalists found place in the list of nominees.
14:31 Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI supremo:
Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said he would be happy to adhere to the Supreme Court directive and was ready to take over as interim BCCI president. Rediff.com takes you through Gavaskar's life -- a gutsy cricketer to the BCCI chief. Read
14:29 ESPNcricinfo @BishanBedi on Gavaskar's interim appointment: 'Never known an opening batsman become a night-watchman'.
14:00 BJP refuses to confirm on Uma vs Sonia, Smriti vs Rahul :
BJP National President Rajnath Singh today said his party would field strong candidates against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh.
"The party will field strong candidates against Sonia and Rahul. Party is considering many strong candidates to be fielded from Amethi and Rae Bareli," Singh said.
The BJP is considering a suggestion to field former Madhya Pradesh CM Uma Bharti and TV actor and Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively, but there have been no confirmations as yet.
Asked about Congress Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood's statement against Narendra Modi, Singh said his statement showed his disappointment due to Modi's popularity.
Singh, when asked about the change in the SP candidate from Lucknow, said "just wait and watch how a political party changes its candidates from other places too".The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
13:49 Hate speech candidate trends on Twitter :
And so, Imran Masood, finds himself trending on Twitter.
Priti Gandhi @MrsGandhi Those who behaved like the world had ended after I had RT'd a poster are now looking the other way when Imran Masood gives death threats!!
Ashutosh @ashutosh083B And @ArvindKejriwal proving his secular credentials by not commenting on Imran Masood, of course communalism is bigger threat.
Alok Bhatt @alok_bhatt Thank you Imran Masood, you just took Modi comfortably close to 7RCR on his own!
Internet Hindu @Internet_Hindus Masood Azghar and Imran Masood are same. One groomed by ISI, other by Cong. Enough said.
MurderedKing @rajibhawaibam Imran Masood probably doesn't knows the repercussions if Modi is touched..!!!
Capt Jack Sparrow @manme0007 People like Imran Masood must be thrown out to Pak, Better country for them
13:46 Cong candidate booked for 'will chop Modi to pieces' speech :
Congress Lok Sabha candidate Imran Masood from UP's Saharanpur, has been booked for his hate speech against Narendra Modi.
Masood had threatened to kill the BJP PM candidate. A video has surfaced showing Masood addressing a gathering and claiming to chop Modi into pieces.
Masood, however, remains defiant, saying he only meant that he would teach Modi a lesson and would apologise only if Modi apologised for the 2002 riots.
In his speech, Masood said, "UP is not Gujarat. There is only 4% Muslim population in Gujarat but in UP there are 22% Muslims here. I will fight against Modi because I know how to give a fitting reply to him. We will cut him into pieces."
The Election Commission had sought details of Masood's speech. The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
13:39 'Crores given in donations' :
The PIL was filed by a NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms, which had alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs in its reply has factually admitted the position that fundings came to these parties from Vedanta.The PIL had sought a direction for a "court-monitored investigation by the SIT or the CBI into the violation of foreign funding and other laws by major political parties, corporate groups and PSUs. It had also alleged that the two political parties have violated the Representation of People's Act and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources, which is prohibited under both the legislations.
The petition alleged that Vedanta Resources and its subsidiary companies in India, including Sterlite Industries, Sesa Goa and Malco, "have donated several crores of rupees to major political parties such as the Indian National Congress and the BJP".
The PIL has also alleged that according to Vedanta's annual report of 2012, it had made political donations to the tune of $2.01 million either through a trust or directly in respect of the Indian general elections.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
13:35 LIVE! Delhi HC finds BJP, Cong guilty of taking foreign funds :
Celebrations at AAP following this verdict. The Delhi High Court has found both the Congress and the BJP guilty of taking donations to party funds from foreign funds. Slamming both the parties, the HC said both the parties took donations running into several crores of rupees. The order was based on a PIL alleging that the Congress and the BJP received funding from subsidiaries of United Kingdom-based Vedanta Resources in violation of various Indian laws.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
13:30 SC stays trial in Italian marines case :
The Supreme Court stays the trial of the two Italian Marines before a special court in the fishermen killing case. The SC has sought the Centre's response on a plea by the Italian marines challenging the jurisdiction of the NIA to prosecute and probe the case. The Supreme Court has deferred the scheduled proceedings of March 31 before the special court set up to carry out the trial in the case.
Meanwhile, Italy has said it will not participate in the trial of the two marines in
13:24 Im not an outsider in India: Azharuddin:
Cricketer-turned-MP Mohammad Azharuddin has dismissed as "useless talk' reports of non- cooperation by Congress workers in his Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency for being seen as an 'outsider', saying there is no restriction on anyone to work anywhere in India.
13:19 Anti-Naxal ops: Two BSF men injured in Odisha landmine blast:
Two BSF personnel were today injured in a landmine blast carried out by suspected Naxals in the Malkangiri district of Odisha. Officials said that a BSF team was on an anti-Naxal operation task in the jungles of the district when an encounter took place between the personnel and the ultras.
13:08 Aamir writes to EC: I'm not supporting AAP:
Aamir Khan has written a letter to the EC clarifying that he is not endorsing any particular political party, including the AAP.
Apparently, it was brought to Aamir's notice that a social campaign was doing the rounds that he was supporting AAP. Some candidates of AAP allegedly took to twitter and used Aamir's image in one of their campaign posters, claiming that the 49-year-old 'Dhoom 3' star was supporting their party.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
13:03 5 dead in IAF aircraft crash :
Update on the Super Hercules aircraft crash: The death toll is now five, up from the earlier four. The Hercules normally carries a crew of five, but unconfirmed reports say, there were 11 people on board. Rescue ops are underway, while a court of inquiry has been ordered.
13:00 Bail for former IPS officer in Sohrabuddin encounter case :
Update on the Sohrabuddin case:
The Supreme Court today granted bail to suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, who was arrested in connection with the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.
The IPS officer had moved the apex court in December, 2013 after the Bombay High Court on November 20 last year rejected his bail application.
The CBI had opposed the bail application in the high court, saying the police officer is a key accused who had picked up the duo from Hyderabad before they were killed in the alleged fake encounter.
Pandian, along with IPS officer Abhay Chudasma, Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh M N and some other policemen are lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai after the SC transferred the trial in the case to Mumbai from Ahmedabad.
The other accused IPS officer, D G Vanzara, was brought back to Ahmedabad in connection with the case of alleged encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others and remains lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail.
12:49 NEWS FLASH: The Suprme Court stays the trial of the two Italian Marines before a special court in the fishermen killing case.
12:48 Five people were on board IAF C130J aircraft which crashed. Four confirmed dead. Search choppers dispatched from Agra, Barielly and Gwalior.
12:46 4 dead in Super Hercules crash:
News just coming in: Police says four people are dead in the C-130-J Super Hercules aircraft crash. A Hercules normally carries five crew.
12:39 Birbhum gang rape: SC asks WB govt to pay Rs 5 lakh to victim:
In other news, the Supreme Court today directed the West Bengal government to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation in addition to the already sanctioned Rs 50,000 to the 20-year-old Birbhum gang-rape victim.
A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, S A Bobde and N V Ramana also said the state government has failed to protect the fundamental right of the victim, a young tribal woman who was gang-raped allegedly by 13 villagers in Birbhum district in January this year.
The bench said all states are duty bound to protect the rights of women and that they have freedom of choice in marriage.
On January 31, the apex court had directed the West Bengal Chief Secretary to respond on what action police had taken in the case of gang rape of the woman allegedly on the orders of a kangaroo court as punishment for falling in love with a man outside her community.
After going through the report of the Chief Secretary, the bench had said the state government had taken steps but more effective action was required to be taken.
Search teams are being airborne from Gwalior now.
12:32 Number of people on board Hercules not known :
The C130 J normally has a 5-member crew. During the Uttarkahand floods, last year, the Super Hercules would take off from the Hindon Air Base at the crack
of dawn, fly high up in the skies over Uttarakhand, make detailed
observations on cloud patterns and report to the operations command
centre at the Jollygrant airport in Dehradun.
would then be used to decide the schedule and direction of rescue
sorties. The IAF called this aircraft the Weather Bird.
12:26 IAF copper crash near Gwalior:
A helicopter has crashed on the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border, near Gwalior. The chopper is believed to be a C-130 J Hercules bought from the US two years ago. Early reports say that the C-130 J had taken off from Agra and crashed west of Gwalior. The chopper was on a regular training mission. No report of casualties yet. This is the first accident involving a C130 for the Indian Air Force. The number of people on board the chopper is not known yet.
The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft played a pivotal role in rescue operations in the Uttarakhand floods last year.
A day after India abstains on UN war crimes vote. Sri Lanka says it will release all Indian fishermen in its custody as a goodwill gesture.
12:05 LIVE! Dec 16 gang rape: Juvenile convict WON'T be tried in regular court:
The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea of the December 16, 2012 gang-rape victim's parents for sending the juvenile convict to face trial in a regular court.
The convict who was 17 years old when the young woman was fatally gang-raped on a Delhi bus will not be tried by a regular court, the Supreme Court said today, rejecting the request of the victim's parents.
The convict's trial was handled by a juvenile court and he was given the maximum sentence of three years at a reform home in September 2013. The parents of the woman who died say that the man who was tried as minor has been let off too easily.
As a juvenile convict, the man cannot be given the death sentence or a life term.
The Supreme Court also dismissed Subramanian Swamy's plea for giving
a fresh interpretation to the term 'juvenile' in the statute which fixes 18 year as the age of attaining majority.
11:58 The Supreme Court grants bail to suspended Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
11:49 Saharanpur Congress candidate threatens to chop Modi into pieces:
Congress's Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood has threatened to kill BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi.
A video has surfaced showing Masood addressing a gathering and claiming to chop Modi into pieces, according to Times Now.
"UP is not Gujarat. There is only 4% Muslim population in Gujarat but in UP there are 22% Muslims here. I will fight against Modi because I know how to give a fitting reply to him. We will cut him into pieces," Masood is heard saying in the video. The Election Commission has sought details of Masood's speech.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
11:46 Army chief briefs Antony on Kathua encounter :
Army chief Gen Bikram Singh briefs Defence Minister AK Antony on the ongoing encounter in Jammu, a Defence Ministry official, has said.
One person was killed and three others were injured after a terror
attack in Dayalachak in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir early this morning.
A senior police officer said four heavily-armed terrorists stopped a
vehicle on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway and
opened fire at the occupants of the vehicle, killing one person on the
spot and seriously injuring three others.
According to reports, the terrorists were wearing Army uniforms. the gunmen later fled in the same vehicle.
11:28 50,000 licenced arms in Assam; only 20% deposited so far:
Only 20 per cent of the nearly 50,000 licenced arms existing in Assam have been deposited so far with authorities in the run up to the three-phased Lok Sabha elections in the state.
The state police department is now trying to contact all the owners in order to take possession of these arms as per the Election Commission directives. "As of now, we have 47,286 licenced arms in Assam. Of this, around 9,500 have been collected according to EC norms to have a free and fair election exercise in the state," a top government official said.
In addition to these, the police have seized around 10,000 unlicensed arms, ammunition and explosives across the state, he added.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
11:26 272 people to vote for LS poll for the first time in 67 yrs:
Sixty-seven years after India's Independence and 40 years after Meghalaya attained statehood, a group of 272 people in East Khasi Hills district will be casting their votes for the first time in a Lok Sabha poll while their 7000 odd neighbours would not. These 7000 plus eligible voters, who have been living for a long time in this part of the state, have never voted in any election, as they are not registered voters.The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
11:23 Ramachandra Guha on the Pre-Election Landscape:
India is just over a week away from the start of the largest democratic exercise on earth. As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the polls, leading Indian historian and prolific author Ramachandra Guha surveys the political landscape. Read
11:10 Sunny sceptics pore over technicalities :
Lesson No. 1 for the arrogant Narayanswamy Srinivasan and a subservient Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI): Don't try and outsmart the Supreme Court.
Lesson No. 2: You may belong to an exclusive club, but there's a world outside and your actions (or the lack of action) get noticed.Read
11:08 Priyanka helped Varun Gandhi oust me from Pilibhit, says Cong leader :
Senior Congress leader Vinod Kumar Tiwari accused BJP leader Varun Gandhi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka of colluding against him, and said he was denied the ticket to contest from Pilibhit because there were fears that a strong Congress candidate would divide Hindu votes.
Such a division would hurt the prospects of BJP candidate from Pilibhit, Maneka Gandhi, he said. Tiwari said the Congress candidate from Pilibhit, Sanjay Kapoor, was considered weak, and seen as "an outsider". Read
11:05 Rupee at 8-month high, Sensex hits record high for 5th day:
The rupee traded at an eight-month high on Friday, while the BSE Sensex and the broader Nifty hit record highs for a fifth successive session. Sharp gains in the currency came on the back of continued buying by overseas investors, who bought domestic shares worth 2,192 crore on Thursday, taking total inflows so far in 2014 to more than Rs. 20,000 crore.
10:18 Rupee up 18 paise against dollar in early trade:
The rupee recovered by 18 paise to trade at 60.12 against the US dollar in early trade today on selling of the American currency by banks and exporters amid sustained foreign capital inflows.
Besides, a higher opening in the domestic equity market and strengthening of other currencies against the dollar overseas also supported the rupee, forex dealers said.
The rupee had dropped 17 paise to close at 60.31 against the dollar in yesterday's trade.
Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex climbed to a new record-high by surging 146.07 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 22,360.44 in early trade today.
09:46 Nagma slaps youth at Meerut rally after he 'manhandles' her:
CNN-IBN reports: Congress candidate from Meerut, actress Nagma found herself in a peculiar spot on Thursday. The actress slapped a person during an election rally in Meerut.
Nagma had just reached the site of the rally when she was surrounded by a mob. In the confusion, a youth reportedly manhandled her after which Nagma slapped the youth.
Nagma was making her way to the stage to address the crowd when the incident happened. An upset Nagma later said that if such an incident happens again, she would never return to Meerut.
09:09 Walmart sues Visa for $5 bn for rigging card fees:
The world's largest retailer Walmart has sued credit card giant Visa for more than $5 billion for conspiring with banks to fix fees that merchants pay for accepting Visa card payments.
In the suit filed this week in Arkansas, where Walmart is based, the retailer said Visa worked with some of the largest US banks "to illegally fix the interchange fees and inflate the network fees that Walmart and other merchants pay on Visa charge card transactions."
It said that Visa and the banks as well worked together to set rules that prevent retailers from protecting themselves against such fees.
Walmart said the banks agreed with Visa to establish one inflexible interchange rate regime, and suggested this prevents it from any ability to negotiate what would be a market rate.
"Visa has used its price-fixing schemes to establish, maintain and enhance its long-held market power," said Walmart in the suit.
08:41 Delhi hands Kejriwal Rs 85,000 house rent bill:
Delhi government has issued a notice to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal asking him to pay a rent of Rs 85,000 per month for the flat in which he has been staying for the past more than a month even after resigning from the Chief Minister's post.
Kejriwal had sought an extension to stay in the C-II/23 house at Tilak Lane in Central Delhi till his daughter's examinations in May.
The notice was issued by the special Secretary of Public Works Department on Monday. When asked, an AAP spokesperson said Kejriwal will pay the rent.
As per the notice, Kejriwal has been asked to pay Rs 85, 000 per month as rent from March 1, that is 15 days after he resigned from the chief minister's post on February 14.
Sources said the former chief minister has been asked to respond to the notice within a week. Earlier this month, PWD had sent a letter to Kejriwal asking him to vacate the house as he had already crossed the 15-day deadline for staying in the official accommodation.
As per norms, a Delhi government minister can stay a maximum of 15 days in his official residence after demitting office without paying market rent.
08:39 Japan satellite images show possible debris from MH370:
Japanese satellite images have shown around 10 floating objects off Australia, possibly from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, media reports quoted the government as saying on Friday.
The objects were spotted in waters roughly 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth, Kyodo and Jiji news agencies said.
Japan's Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Centre's study showed objects up to eight metres in length and four metres wide in images captured by a satellite between 9 am and 3 pm (local time) Wednesday, Kyodo said.
A government source said they could be wreckage of the missing plane since they were found in an area overlapping the sites where debris had previously been spotted, according to the agency.
08:38 Kejriwal to begin Haryana tour today:
Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will embark on a three-day-election tour of Haryana starting Friday.
A party leader said that the AAP chief will start from Jhajjar and cover Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jind areas.
On Saturday, he will hold road shows in Kaithal, Pehowa and various towns of Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala districts.
The former Delhi chief minister will return to Delhi Sunday evening following campaigns at Ambala, Chandigarh, Panipat and Sonipat.
Kejriwal will refocus on Delhi from April. The seven constituencies of the capital will go to the polls April 10.
08:37 Malaysian jet search resumes, US sends second Poseidon plane:
An air search of the remote southern Indian Ocean resumed on Friday, seeking to confirm if hundreds of objects spotted by satellites are debris from a Malaysian jetliner presumed to have crashed almost three weeks ago with the loss of all on board.
A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 took off from Perth before dawn, heading 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest into the search area where high winds and icy weather had halted flights on Thursday.
The disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet, which vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a routine flight to Beijing on March 8, has gripped the world and baffled investigators.
The US Navy said it was sending a second P8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to help in the search for the missing Boeing 777.
"It's critical to continue searching for debris so we can reverse-forecast the wind, current and sea state since March 8th to recreate the position where MH370 possibly went into the water," said Commander Tom Moneymaker, a US 7th Fleet oceanographer.
01:28 Stalin slams Centre for abstaining in UNHRC vote against Lanka:
DMK Treasurer M K Stalin today slammed the Centre for abstaining from voting on US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as he claimed credit for the party for the past votes by India against the island nation.
India had voted against Sri Lanka on three previous occasions due to the "pressure" exerted by his party, which was then a partner of the UPA. However, the government was boldened and abstained from voting today as DMK was not in the government, he told an election rally.
Some political parties, who were always politicising the issue, should know that it was his party which fought for the right and cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka, he claimed.
Stating that he along with party MP, T R Baalu had gone to Geneva and handed over the resolution adopted at the TESO meeting, under the directive of party President M Karunanidhi, Stalin said that UPA Government had then voted for the USA-sponsored resolutiion against Sri Lanka in 2013.
01:07 Modi to address rally in Ghaziabad on April 6:
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address a rally in Ghaziabad on April 6. According to Ghaziabad BJP Lok Sabha convener Atul Garg, Modi's public rally would happen in Indrapuram area, where poeple from Ghaziabad and Noida will also be present.
Modi's rally in Ghaziabad was earlier scheduled for March 27 in Kavi Nagar Ramlila Maidan, but the itenerary was changed keeping in view the leader's schedule, Garg said.
00:15 Magazine to pay Julie Gayet over Hollande affair report :
A French court has ordered Closer magazine to pay Julie Gayet 15,000 euros (12,000) over a breach of privacy for revealing her affair with President Francois Hollande. The magazine published photographs of Mr Hollande and Ms Gayet arriving separately at an apartment in January.
The payout was far lower than the 50,000 euros the actress had sought. The Paris court ordered the magazine to publish the ruling on the front page of its next edition.
Closer caused a political storm in France on 10 January when it published images purporting to show Mr Hollande and Ms Gayet arriving at a Paris flat for alleged trysts. Although he refused to comment on the allegations, President Hollande announced that he had "put an end" to his "shared life" with long-term partner Valerie Trierweiler shortly afterwards.
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