rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! Man attempts suicide inside Anna Hazare's office

Write a comment

February 04, 2016


22:57  Man attempts suicide inside Anna Hazare's office:  A man allegedly tried to commit suicide inside social activist Anna Hazare's office in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra, police said today. 

The man identified only as Balu consumed poisonous substance inside Hazare's office last evening, a police official said. 

He was rushed to a hospital with the help of Parner police who have lodged a complaint, he said. An aide to Hazare said land dispute led the man, a farmer, to take the step. Reacting to the incident, Hazare said matters like land disputes should be resolved in court and suicide wasn't a solution.
22:53  Ex-Cong MP, kin get bail in daughter-in-law, 3 kids death case:  A local court today granted bail to former Congress MP Siricilla Rajaiah, his wife and son who were arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of his daughter-in-law and three young grandsons.

Fourth Additional Munsif Magistrate Court Warangal R Raghunadha Reddy today granted bail to Rajaiah, his wife Madhavi and son Anil Kumar and asked them to furnish two securities each of Rs 25,000. The court also ordered them to surrender their passports to the court and not to leave the country.

The judge also asked them to appear before local police every Sunday. On November 4 last year, the charred bodies of Anil Kumar's wife S Sarika and her three children Abhinav, 7, and twins Ayaan and Shriyaan, 3, were recovered from the house of the former MP at Hanamkonda in Warangal district. 

Following a complaint by parents of S Sarika, the deceased daughter-in-law of Rajaiah, a case was registered against the former parliamentarian, his wife and son at Subedari police station under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of IPC and under section 174 (suspicious death) of CrPC for the death of the three boys. 

The trio were later arrested.
22:09  Kapu leader to fast for quota from tomorrow, security beefed up:  Security has been beefed up in the East Godavari district, in view of Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham's planned indefinite fast at Kirlampudi from tomorrow for inclusion of the community in the Backward Class category.

"Since Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham has planned to launch an indefinite fast at his residence in Kirlampudi in the district tomorrow for reservation demand, we have stepped up security in the district. We have set up 39 checkposts and Rapid Action Force has been roped in," district superintendent of police S P Mesala Ravi Prakash told reporters.

Authorities have already put in place prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 30 of the Police Act banning assembly of people to avoid any untoward incident, he said.

Violence had erupted in the district last Sunday during 'Kapu Aikya Garjana', a meeting by Kapu community members, who sought reservation under Backward Class category.
21:57  It's true! Donald Trump nominated for Peace Nobel 2016:  Controversial Republican front-runner Donald Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 for his 'vigorous' ideology that counters radical Islam as a weapon of deterrence, according to media reports.

The 'unlikely' nomination of the 69-year-old hard-liner for the coveted peace prize highlights the vulnerability of the award -- that it is easily misused as a publicity tool fora politician whose goals would seem to many as antithetical tothe Nobel committee's.

According to the information available on the Nobel Prize website: "A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria. A letter of invitation to submit is not required. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later."

Nominations for the award, that had a submission deadline of February 1, are a closely-guarded secret but those who nominate candidates can reveal the name of the person they have proposed, reports said.

An American male senator or congressman nominated Trump -- the real estate tycoon who is currently the Republican presidential front-runner, according to Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of Oslo's Peace Research Institute.

Harpviken told the Telegraph that he had seen the letter,which described Trump's 'vigorous peace-through-strength ideology' as an effective 'threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China'.

Trump was criticised globally over a call for banning all Muslims from entering the US but refused to budge from his stance. The stunning provocative remarks made by him in December were not only condemned by the rival camp but party members as well.

Harpviken said that whoever nominated Trump probably did it to secure more press coverage for the controversial candidate.
21:26  Siachen avalanche: PM, Parrikar, Rahul condole soldiers' death:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi have condoled the loss of lives of 10 soldiers whose whereabouts are unknown since their post was hit by a massive avalanche in Siachen Glacier.

However, there have been no updates about the rescue operations from the Army or the MoD so far. Earlier, the MoD had said that the chances for survival of the soldiers are 'very remote'.

'Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute brave soldiers who gave their lives to nation. Condolences to their families,' Modi tweeted on Thursday evening.

"My heartfelt condolences to near and dear ones of our brave soldiers who were martyred in line of duty. It is our duty to take care of their families,' said Parrikar on the tragedy, hours after an MoD release said that specialised equipment and teams are being used to locate and rescue the survivors.

While the Congress vice president tweeted, 'Very sad to know that 10 of our brave soldiers lost their lives in an avalanche in Siachen. My thoughts and prayers are with soldiers' families.'
21:00  Three terrorists killed in J&K, encounter continues:   Three terrorists were killed in a day-long gunfight in North Kashmir's Bandipore district on Thursday.

The gunfight in Hajin town, 40 km from Srinagar, broke out on Thursday morning after troops of counter insurgency Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group jointly launched a search operation on specific information about presence of a group of terrorists there.

"As the security forces were busy in searches, terrorists, hiding in a house, opened fire, triggering an encounter. So far, three terrorists have been killed,' the officer told rediff.com.

He said three AK-47 rifles and one Underbarrel Grenade Launcher were recovered from the slain militants.

"The operation is still on," the officer added.

Senior army and police officers visited the area.

Groups of youth indulged in heavy stone pelting at the security forces. They were, however, chased away by the police. Mukhtar Shah in Srinagar
20:53  Plea in SC against Modi for 'poll code violation':  An Ahmedabad resident has filed a plea in Supreme Court seeking action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly violating the poll code during 2014 Lok Sabha elections by posting his selfie with Bharatiya Janata Party symbol 'lotus' on social media immediately after casting his vote.

The special leave petition, filed by Nishant Varma against the Gujarat high court order which had dismissed his plea against Modi, said no investigation was made by the BJP government in Gujarat into the first information report lodged against the then chief minister in the matter on the direction of the Election Commission.

Varma contended that the high court was 'erroneous' and that the Gujarat police had acted in a mala fide manner to protect Modi by filing a closure report in the case.

"Investigation agency involved in the present case has acted in a mala fide manner in order to protect the respondent (Modi) from lawful prosecution for having committed various offences under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and the Indian Penal Code," he said in his plea.

Varma had earlier filed a complaint before a magisterial court alleging violation of the model code by Modi but the police filed a closure report saying no offence was committed by him.

The magistrate, while accepting the closure report in August 2014, had dropped the proceedings against Modi who had by then become the prime minister.

This order was later upheld by the high court.

Seeking action against Modi, Varma said, "Before accepting the closure report, the metropolitan magistrate did not give any opportunity to the petitioner or the Election Commission of India to assail the report."

The Election Commission had on April 30, 2014 directed that FIRs be registered against Modi for violation of model code of conduct.
20:05  Murud tragedy: Top college management official filmed misbehaving with parents:  A video has surfaced featuring a top management functionary of a Pune college who is seen talking 'rudely' and asking policemen and his associates to 'shoo away' the parents and relatives of the 14 students who drowned off Murud beach during a picnic earlier this week.

The video went viral on social media, a day after the aggrieved parents met a senior college official P A Inamdar. The parents have alleged negligence on part of the Abeda Inamdar Senior College management for the February 1 tragedy in Raigad district.

In the video, Inamdar, president of Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, which runs the college, is seen losing his cool and asking the parents and relatives, "Why did they pay for ambulances (which brought back the bodies) when the management had already made the payment?"

He is also seen asking college staffers and policemen standing there to 'shoo them away' and 'lower their voice'.

Shakila Sayyad, mother of 20-year-old Safin Sayyad who died in the incident, said, "If you see the video, you will come to know how rudely he behaved with me and other relatives. Instead of giving us hope and support, he hurled abuses and behaved insensitively."

The parents had also claimed yesterday that they were pushed out of Inamdar's office. They said they had to pay for ambulance services from their own pockets and the college did nothing.

When contacted, Inamdar refuted all allegations and said, "Some people in the garb of relatives were trying to blackmail me by talking about money."

He said a committee has been formed to ascertain what went wrong during the picnic and if parents and relatives have some issues, they can make submission before the panel.

Asked if he will apologise for his behaviour, Inamdar said, "There is no question of apologising. However, we are still with grief-stricken parents."
19:29  JUST IN: Indian army says no to the offer of Pakistan's director general of military operations to help in rescue efforts to find 10 Indian soldiers who went missing after their post in Siachen was hit by a massive avalanche.
18:56  Finally, Pachauri out; Ajay Mathur takes over as Teri chief :   Just in: Teri chief RK Pachari is finally out. Ajay Mathur, head of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, will finally take over as the new Director of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Mathur, who was appointed as the new Director of government's think tank after the Governing Council of TERI in July decided to replace RK Pachauri, will join as TERI chief from Monday.

Pachauri was reluctant to let go of his powers and was asked to be made the chairman of TERI with executive powers. Mathur was then asked by the government to continue in his position till the climate change conference in Paris, which ended in December 11.

Pachauri, who has served two terms as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was accused of sexual harassment by a junior colleague in 2015, following which he went on leave from TERI, an organisation he built and nurtured for almost three-and-a-half decades. In July last year, he returned after a court allowed him to do so on the condition that he would not visit the TERI headquarters, where he used to sit earlier.
18:50  Thanks, but no thanks, army declines Pak offer of help in Siachen rescue :  Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh today declined his Pakistani counterpart's offer for help in rescuing Indian soldiers buried under snow after an avalanche hit their post in Siachen Glacier, saying necessary resources have already been put in place.

Army sources said Pakistan's DGMO Maj Gen Amir Riaz called up earlier in the day and offered help. They said such calls are routine whenever any incident happens near the border.

"During the conversation, he offered Pakistani help which was declined for now saying that enough resources have been put in place," the sources said.

Incidentally, the offer of help came over 30 hours after the incident. Ten soldiers of an army post, located at an altitude of 19,600 feet, were hit by a massive avalanche in the early hours yesterday. Rescue operations by specialized teams of the army and the air force continued for the second day today amid fears that they may be dead.

"It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," Lt Gen D S Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command, said.

Snow cutters and specialised equipment were flown into Leh to further boost the rescue efforts. The glaciated area experiences temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day.

Rescue teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarified atmosphere to locate and rescue survivors. "However, it is with deepest of regrets that we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are now very remote," an Army statement had said.
18:25  Israeli teens sentenced for Palestinian boy's burning death:  One Israeli teenager was sentenced Thursday to life in prison and another was given 21 years for the 2014 murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir, Jerusalem district court representative Shirley Koren said. Authorities said Abu Khdeir was abducted, beaten and burned alive in apparent revenge for the deaths of three Israeli teens earlier that year.
18:06  Like a scene from Mughal-e-Azam: Owaisi on Modi's tribute to Rohith Vemula:  All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen chief, Asaduddin Owaisi, took a dig at the 'theatrics' of PM Narendra Modi at Lucknow university over Dalit student Rohith Vemula's suicide. "It was like watching an emotional movie scene," the AIMIM chief said at a rally in Faizabad today.

The PM had got teary eyed addressing the convocation ceremony at Babasaheb Ambedkar University in Lucknow. He had said, "politics aside, a mother has lost a son, and I feel the pain."  

Owaisi accused parties of using Rohith Vemula suicide issue to fulfil their own political aims. "Rohith was a victim of caste discrimination, which is prevalent across educational institutions in the country. Politics  over Rohith Vemula's death is fake. The PM got emotional in Lucknow while remembering Rohith... for a moment I thought I was watching a scene from Mugha-e-Azam," said Owaisi.

Owaisi termed the BJP government at the Centre as anti-Dalit and anti-Muslims and claimed that the government was trying to divert attention from real issues by detaining several so called ISIS operatives.

With Assembly elections just a year away in Uttar Pradesh, Owaisi's AIMIM is banking on the Dalit-Muslim vote bank to give a tough fight to the ruling Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
17:44  Bilawal, Sherry to attend Obamas prayer breakfast:  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sherry Rehman will attend the US National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, while former president Asif Ali Zardari will also be in town but will not participate in the event.US President Barack Obama will be the chief guest and the main speaker at this annual event. Every US president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the prayer breakfast. Read more
17:41  Embers from Muzaffarnagar made Narendra Modi PM: BJP leader :  Nearly 30 months after Muzaffarnagar saw some of the worst communal riots in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has begun invoking "the embers that spread' from the violence of 2013 and "made Narendra Modi the Prime Minister' to woo voters in the campaign for the assembly by-poll here on February 13.
Read more
17:25  Swaraj to pay two-day visit to Lanka from tomorrow:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Colombo tomorrow on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with the top Sri Lankan leadership and attend the 9th Indo-Lanka Joint Commission meeting to discuss key bilateral and regional issues.
17:19  "No bomb found at Bengal government's headquarters in Kolkata," police investigating 'hoax' call.
17:04  "We condemn this incident unequivocally," says Vikas Swarup, MEA, on Tanzanian girl incident. 
16:54  SD Goswami, spokesperson (MoD) on the Siachen avalanche.

"Ten soldiers of an Army Post located at an altitude of 19600 feet were hit by a massive avalanche in the early hours of 3rd February 2016.

Operations by specialized teams of the Army and the Air Force have entered the second day today. Specialised equipment was flown in to Leh today morning to further boost the rescue efforts.

The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day.

Rescue teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarified atmosphere to locate and rescue survivors. However, it is with deepest of regrets that we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are now very remote.

Lt Gen DS Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command has expressed his grief on the tragic incident.  He said, "It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty." 
16:42  Rescue operations at the site of the army camp in Siachen which was covered with a thick blanket of snow after an avalanche yesterday. The defence ministry says chances of finding the 10 soldiers trapped beneath is remote.
16:36  Bomb scare at Bengal government's headquarters in Howrah near Kolkata
16:30  Chances of finding survivors remote: MoD on solders trapped in Siachen avalanche:  "With deepest regret we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are very remote," Defence Spox, MoD on the 10 soldiers trapped in Siachen Glacier avalanche.

The army today said there were "remote chances" of finding the 10 soldiers trapped after an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier yesterday.

"It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," the army said in a statement.

Rescuers with dogs are carving through massive chunks of ice to search for the soldiers who have been missing since a wall of ice, a kilometre wide and 600 metres high, came crashing down on their post.
16:15  Pak offers to help India search soldiers trapped in Siachen avalanche :  Pakistan has offered to help India in its search and rescue operations for 10 soldiers missing in the Siachen glacier after an avalanche.

Army Northern Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda said the event was tragic  and saluted the men who braved all challenges to guard India's frontiers.

One junior commissioned officer (JCO) and nine jawans of the Army's 19 Madras battalion are trapped after an avalanche struck their post in Siachen early Wednesday morning.

Rescue operations are on by the Army and the Air Force.

The post is at 19,600 feet on the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) -- the border with Pakistan at Siachen glacier -- in the vicinity of Bana post.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, Northern Command, S D Goswami said the rescue operations were being closely monitored from Leh and Udhampur.

The maximum tenure of any soldier on the northern glacier is three months, while for some tougher posts, such as Bana post, it is restricted to 30 days.

Units deployed on the northern glacier are rotated after a six-month stint.

Siachen is the world's highest active battlefield, contested by India and Pakistan since 1984 when India launched Operation Meghdoot.

In April 1984, the Indian Army moved in to pre-empt a move by the Pakistan Army to occupy the glacier. Indian Army currently occupies the full Siachen glacier, while Pakistani forces are deployed at the lower heights of Saltoro ridge.
15:53  Storm clouds loom over Budget session:  The Congress leadership today appeared cynical about cooperating with the government in Parliament's upcoming budget session, accusing the ruling BJP of ignoring the Opposition's concerns as fears of another washout loomed.

Party strategists insisted that relations with the government were more strained now than what they were during the last monsoon session that was washed out and the subsequent winter session that was almost as blighted. "There has been no effort to build any bridges," a key party functionary said. Read more
15:49  Hemant Morparia says it for all of us...
15:39  In search for 10 soldiers in Siachen, now every minute counts:  A day after an avalanche hit the northern part of the Siachen Glacier, rescuers with dogs are carving through massive chunks of ice to reach 10 soldiers trapped after a wall of ice, a kilometre wide and 600 metres high, came crashing down on their post.

Sources have told NDTV, "It's as if there is nothing, no post there at all." Every minute counts now, they added, pointing out that rescuers are working in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade to navigate the extremely treacherous heights of the Saltoro ridge (directly West of the Siachen glacier) upon which the soldiers were based at a post located at 19,600 feet.
15:27  NIA Court sends ISIS suspect arrested from Bhopal to 15 day police custody
15:05  British school in Delhi received threat call at 1pm, caller claimed he'd shoot everyone with his AK-47. School was in lockdown for 1 hour, reports NDTV.
14:54  UN rules in favour of WikiLeaks founder over 'unlawful detention' in UK:   A United Nations panel has ruled in favour of Wikileaks founder Julain Assange over his unlawful detention in the UK.

Assange has said he would accept arrest by the UK police if a UN panel investigating his case rules against him, reports the Independent.

The 44-year-old is planning to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he sought political asylum in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, on Friday.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual assault in 2010. He denies the claims.The Australian fears Sweden will extradite him to authorities in the US where he could be put on trial over the activities of the WikiLeaks website, which has published thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is considering Assange's request for relief after he filed a complaint against the UK and Sweden in 2014. He said he was being arbitrarily detained in the Embassy.
14:43  Pankaj Mishra on Arundhati Roy: Hindu nationalists ​have many ways to silence writers :   Author Arundhati Roy is facing criminal trial for contempt of court in India. Of course, Narendra Modi's government has left no clear fingerprints on this scene of a crime against art and thought, writes Pankaj Mishra for the Guardian. Read 
14:22  CBI gets Maha governor's nod to prosecute Ashok Chavan in Adarsh scam:  Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao gives sanction to the CBI to prosecute former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scam case.

This comes after the Maharashtra Cabinet recommended to Rao that he grant sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan. The former CM today alleged that the BJP was pressurising the probe agency to implicate him in the high-profile case.

The CBI had approached the Governor seeking sanction to prosecute Chavan after it got "fresh evidence" against him in the case, following which Mr Rao wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to elicit the opinion of his Council of Ministers.

"Filing of FIR has already taken place. The issue now is limited to state cabinet recommending to the governor that permission for prosecution be given," he said.

"BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has made baseless allegations. He is not a legal expert. He has always done this," Chavan said.

"He made baseless allegations that it was Rahul Gandhi who ensured that the then governor didn't grant sanction for prosecution. Somaiya should give proof of Rahuljis involvement in this," he added.

"Somaiya is not an astrologer to claim that the Governor will take such and such action. The Governor is a constitutional authority. What new has happened after the then governor refused to grant permission to prosecute me? CBI is under BJP's pressure,"Chavan said.

"BJP's attempt is to ensure that there is no fair investigation in the case. This is a case of political vendetta going on in the country by some BJP leaders. Be it Oommen Chandy or Digvijay Singh, BJP wants to target Congress leaders," he said.

"We won't be cowed down by such attempts. We will continue to highlight corruption by BJP government. CBI has no connection with the Adarsh Commission report," he said.

"I will take legal opinion on this issue and proceed accordingly. Why is there a U-turn (by CBI) after change of government. The pressure on CBI is so great that even court directives are overlooked," the MPCC president said.

Mr Chavan, who had to resign as Chief Minister after the scam surfaced in 2010, was among the 12 persons charge-sheeted by the probe agency in connection with the case.

CBI had alleged that Mr Chavan suggested inclusion of civilian members in Adarsh Housing Society meant for war veterans and widows of defence personnel, to secure flats for his relatives in the plush complex, situated at Colaba in south Mumbai.

In December 2013, the then Governor Sankaranarayanan had refused sanction to CBI to prosecute Mr Chavan in the Adarsh housing scam, leaving the agency with no choice but to close the case against him. 
14:13  US drone strike kills top Qaeda chief in south Yemen: family:  An air strike believed to have been carried out by a US drone in south Yemen today killed a prominent chief of Al-Qaeda's branch in the war-torn country, a family member said. Jalal Belaidi, alias Abu Hamza, a top commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed along with two guards in the Maraqesha area of Abyan province, the relative said.

The United States is the only country known to operate armed drones over Yemen, home to AQAP, considered by Washington as the jihadist group's most dangerous affiliate. A tribal source also confirmed the death of Belaidi following contact with AQAP militants in the area. Belaidi, who was born in Abyan, served in the past as the leader of Al-Qaeda in Zinjibar, but he is said to have climbed the ranks of the jihadist group to became a top military commander.
14:03  US drone strike kills a prominent Al-Qaeda chief in south Yemem: AFP
13:55  ;Trumpertantrums' rage between Democrats, Republicans :  War of words between the top two Republican and Democratic candidates has intensified ahead of the crucial New Hampshire primary next week, with Donald Trump launching a scathing, personal attack on Iowa Caucus winner Ted Cruz amid allegations rare in US electoral politics.

Opening up an onslaught on Cruz, runner-up Donald Trump described him as a liar and accused him of fraud by "stealing" votes. Cruz, who appears more confident after his Monday victory in the crucial Caucus and has support of conservatives, fought back by saying that this was another "tantrum" of Trump.

The war of words continued yesterday not only at public meetings, but also in the social media, particularly Twitter.

"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" Trump tweeted.

"Yet another Trumpertantrum," Cruz fought back, adding that Trump is very angry with the people of Iowa. "They actually looked at his record." "I wake up every day and laugh at the latest thing Donald has tweeted. Because he's losing it. We need a commander in chief, not a twitterer in chief," he said after Trump went on the social media to lash out at the Texas Senator. "I think, what he (Cruz) did was disgusting," Trump told a news channel. The mogul also tweeted: "Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified." Such allegations are rare in US electoral politics. A similar war of words was also witnessed in the rival Democratic camp as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded barbs over who best embodies progressive values ahead of the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday. Vermont Senator Sanders alleged that Clinton is out of step with the party's base on issues ranging from campaign finance to climate change, trade and the Iraq War. Clinton shot back, saying she was "amused" that Sanders appears to consider himself the "gatekeeper on who's progressive". Throughout the day, the two Democratic presidential aspirants battled over who is more progressive. "I do not know any progressive who has a super-PAC and takes USD 15 million from Wall Street. That's just not progressive," Sanders said during a CNN town hall.
13:36  Omar flays attack on Tanzanian student:  Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that incidents like the Bangalore mob action against a Tanzanian woman cause irreparable damage to relations with African countries.

"None of our fancy government summits in Delhi will undo the damage done to relations with countries in Africa by incidents like #Bangalore," he wrote on Twitter.

The National Conference working president was reacting to the incident in Bengaluru where a Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of "mistaken identity" after a woman was mowed down by a car.

The 21-year-old Tanzanian, who is doing her Bachelor of Business Management course, was dragged out of the car in which she was seated along with her three friends
13:30  She was attacked because she was black: Tanzanian envoy :   John WH Kijazi, Tanzania's ambassador to India, reacts to the Karnataka government's statement that it was not a racist attack. "Everybody is entitled to their own assessment, but there is an element of mob justice and racism. That's my assessment. She was attacked because she was black like the guy who caused the accident."

On reports that five people have been arrested in the case: " If that is the case, it is work in progress."

Karnataka Home Minister DG Parmeshwara's statement on the assault on the Tanzanian woman in Bengaluru on January 31. The Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of "mistaken identity" after a woman was mowed down by a car prompting the authorities of the East African country to raise the matter with the Indian government.

"Had the Sudanese man not killed someone in the accident may be this incident wouldn't have happened. There are 12,000 foreign students in Bengaluru, their protection is our duty.  These kind of incidents should not happen. This is not a racist attack, this is just a response to an accident. Bengaluru doesn't have such kind of attitude," he said.
13:09  Reliance returns to movies with Askhay Kumar's Rustam:  Akshay Kumar-starring period drama, Rustam, directed by Tinu Suresh Desai is set to be the first movie produced by Plan C Studios, a joint venture between Reliance Entertainment and Shital Bhatia's Friday Filmworks.

The 50:50 joint venture marks the further return of Reliance, the Indian conglomerate that has backed Steven Spielberg, into Indian film-making.

The company, once poised to be India's largest movie enterprise, sold off its cinemas, post-production businesses and its TV joint ventures.

It also scaled back its Indian movie activities, only to plunge back in again in a manner designed to better share risk.

In March, last year it joined as a partner in Phantom Films, a production house backed by filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. That venture is managed by Phantom. Read more
12:56  Response to accident, NOT racist attack, says K'taka HM:   Karnataka Home Minister DG Parmeshwara's statement on the assault on the Tanzanian woman in Bengaluru on January 31. The Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of "mistaken identity" after a woman was mowed down by a car prompting the authorities of the East African country to raise the matter with the Indian government.

The Tanzanian student was beaten and then stripped by a group of locals in Bengaluru after they assumed she was part of an incident in which a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.

The incident took place on Hesaraghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday night after a Sudanese national ran his car over a 35-year-old woman resulting in on the spot death of the woman.

"Sudan's Mohammad Ismail was driving under the influence of alcohol, he hit K Sanaullah and his wife. The woman died on the spot. Sanaullah was injured and taken to hospital, as was Ismail.

"During this time three to four people gathered and set their car on fire. Some students (referring to the Tanzanian woman and her friends) were driving by. Jamaal Ibrahim, the driver, and a Tanzanian student and others were attacked.

"The cops registered the case at that time itself. For two days, the case was registered only about the accident. After two days Leena (the Tanzanian woman) approached the police and filed a complaint.

"Had the Sudanese man not killed someone in the accident may be this incident wouldn't have happened. There are 12,000 foreign students in Bengaluru, their protection is our duty.  These kind of incidents should not happen.

"This is not a racist attack, this is just a response to an accident. Bengaluru doesn't have such kind of attitude," he said.


Following the brutal assault on Tanzanian student in Bengaluru, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has asked the Karnataka Government to explain the incident and send the report immediately.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Thursday confirmed the news on his official Twitter account.

"Strongly condemn Incident with the Tanzanian Lady in Bangalore. Police must act strongly against the culprits. Rahul Gandhi has asked the government to explain and send report immediately," Singh said in a series of tweets.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had on Wednesday condemned the attack on the Tanzanian student, and asked for stringent punishment for the guilty.

"I have asked the Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah) to ensure safety and security of all foreign students and stringent punishment for the guilty," Swaraj said in a tweet.

"I spoke to the Chief Minister Karnataka. He informed me that a criminal case has been registered and four accused have been arrested," she added.

Expressing her grief over the incident, Swaraj said, "We are deeply pained over the shameful incident with a Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru."

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Police has arrested one more person in the case on Thursday morning after filing an FIR against some unknown persons in connection with the assault on a 21-year-old Tanzanian student.

The Tanzanian student was beaten and then stripped by a group of locals in Bengaluru after they assumed she was part of an incident in which a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.

The incident took place on Hesaraghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday night after a Sudanese national ran his car over a 35-year-old woman resulting in on the spot death of the woman.

The Tanzanian student was travelling in another car, a Wagon-R, along with four others. The young woman, who arrived on the spot around 30 minutes later, was dragged out of the car and paraded naked after being stripped by the mob.

The victim told the police in her complaint that when she tried to get on a bus in order to escape the assault, people on the bus pushed her back towards the mob.

Earlier, the local residents set fire to two cars belonging to the African students, who studied in local colleges in Ganapathinagar on Hesaraghatta Road.
12:52  Just in: US ambassador to India Richard Verma will meet BJP senior leader LK Advani at his residence at 30, Prithviraj Road, at 2:30 pm. 
12:12  Such a Sharif thing to do: When Nawaz was driven by Raheel:   It is not every day that the Pakistani prime minister can expect to be driven by his country's chief of army staff -- given the delicate nature of the relationship between the various wings of the Pakistani establishment -- it cannot be predicted where the drive will end.

But Nawaz Sharif obviously has Lady Luck on his side. For it was none other than General Raheel Sharif who took to the wheel on Wednesday to drive Nawaz Sharif on the newly-constructed patch of the Rs 13 billion Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab road in Balochistan, which is a part of the ambitious China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
12:11  Concern over delay in disbursement of US Coalition Support Fund:  The defence ministry has expressed concern over the delay in release of the $350 million tranche of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by the US Congress for want of a certification by the American defence secretary that Pakistani counter-terrorism operations were disrupting the Haqqani Network's sanctuaries on its soil. Read more
12:03  Rail Budget: Feb 25, Union Budget: Feb 29 :   Update on the upcoming union budget: President Mukherjee will address a joint session of Parliament on February 23. The Rail Budget will be presented on February 25 and the Union Budget on February 29.
11:54  Smriti may get Z-security upgrade:  The Union Home Ministry is set to upgrade the security of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani after student protests against her escalated following the suicide of the Dalit student Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad last month.

Being a Cabinet Minister, Irani is now entitled to Y-category security. The government is planning to upgrade her security to the Z category, under which 20 security men will guard her at any given point of time.

A top government official told The Hindu: "There have been reports that her security was found to be inadequate due to the sudden protests by students, and some miscreants may take advantage of these protests and try to harm her."

At present, only a few Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State enjoy either Z or Z-plus security. Those who have Z-plus security are Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Ministers of State Kiren Rijiju and Jitendra Singh. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and BJP president Amit Shah also enjoy Z-plus security.

"VIP security is granted on the basis of threat perception. Amid reports that the HRD Minister's cordon could be compromised, we are considering to extend Z-category security to her," another official said.
11:45  Budget Session of Parliament likely from Feb 23 to March 17:   The Budget Session of Parliament is likely to be held from February 23 to March 17. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh will on Thursday finalise the broad schedule of Budget session during which the government is keen to pass the crucial GST bill.

The CCPA meeting will be followed by another convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu with opposition leaders to discuss the duration of the session in in view of upcoming assembly polls in five states.
11:22  The Supreme Court refuses to entertain a plea seeking its intervention in the ongoing MCD strike, asks petitioner to go back to Delhi HC.
11:14  Majority of Americans want next prez not to criticize Islam:   A majority of Americans believe the next US president should be careful and not criticize Islam as a whole when speaking about Islamic extremists, according to a latest survey.

The Pew survey stated yesterday that 70 per cent of Democrats and independents who lean towards Democratic party want the next president to refrain from speaking bluntly about Islamic extremism and not criticize Islam as a whole.

However, four-in-ten want the next president to speak bluntly about Islamic extremists even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole, the survey said, adding that blunt talk is preferred by 65 per cent of Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican party.

The survey also showed that many Americans think a substantial segment of the US Muslim population is anti-American. While 42 per cent of adults say "just a few" Muslims in the country are anti-American (or that none are), 49 per cent of the public believes at least "some" US Muslims are anti-American, including 11 per cent who say "most" or "almost all" US Muslims are anti-American and 14 per cent who think "about half" the US Muslim population is anti-American, it said.
11:08  Parliamentary Affairs ministers hold all-party meeting in Parliament ahead of the budget session. 
11:04  Thali, kulhad tea debut on Air India menu:  Early this week, the ubiquitous Indian thali and the kulhad masala chai sprouted wings and boarded their maiden flight. On Monday, national carrier Air India became the first carrier to serve lunch and dinner thalis and tea in kulhads on board flights. Whether the latest debuts on the in-flight menu will curry favour with its passengers remains to be seen.

"Initially, it will be served on Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi sector fli-ghts and subsequently, extended to other metro sector flights," said an Air India circular issued on January 28, which gives the cabin crew instructions on plating the thali and preparing the pre-mix masala chai. Ashwani Lohani, AI chairman and MD, said the new additions were received well on Day one.

The airborne thali is not as laden as its terra firma counterpart with seven items including rice, dal, salad, yogurt, a vegetable sabzi, roti, bread and a choice of paneer or chicken.

While passengers might be looking forward to the thali meal, the flight attendants on international routes with domestic leg have found the changes taxing. The thali components have to be heated separately and then plated, which will take more time than a conventional business class meal, which involves heating only a casserole per tray. 
10:33  Encounter in Kashmir's Bandipore district:  Gunfight erupts in north Kashmir's Bandipore district. Police suspect two-three militants holed up in the Hajin village. 
10:00  'Will leave embassy tomorrow, get arrested if UN rules against me':  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will agree to be arrested by British police on Friday if a UN investigation into his three years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London does not rule that he is being illegally detained. 

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for more than three-and-a-half years, after Swedish authorities sought his extradition. He has not been charged with any offence, but has been sought for questioning in Sweden in relation to sexual assault allegations made against by two women against him. The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention is set to hand down a determination on Assange's case on Friday morning. 

The decision is a last-ditch legal attempt by Assange for a ruling that his detention is arbitrary and unlawful. 

In a statement issued by WikiLeaks on Twitter, Assange said: "Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal." 
09:32  Tanzanian student's case: Rahul seeks report from Karnataka government:  Following the brutal assault on Tanzanian student in Bengaluru, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has asked the Karnataka government to explain the incident and send the report immediately. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh confirmed the news on his official Twitter account. 

"Strongly condemn Incident with the Tanzanian lady in Bangalore. Police must act strongly against the culprits. Rahul Gandhi asks Karnataka government to explain and send report immediately," Singh said in a series of tweets. 

The Bengaluru Police have filed an FIR against some unknown persons in connection with the assault on a 21-year-old Tanzanian student. The Tanzanian student was beaten and then stripped by a group of locals in Bengaluru after they assumed she was part of an incident in which a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.

The incident took place on Hesaraghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday night after a Sudanese national ran his car over a 35-year-old woman resulting in on the spot death of the woman. The Tanzanian student was travelling in another car, a Wagon-R, along with four others. The young woman, who arrived on the spot around 30 minutes later, was dragged out of the car and paraded naked after being stripped by the mob.
09:09  Can't promise on stopping military expansion: Hillary Clinton @ Town Hall:  At a CNN Town Hall, Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton answered questions put by the public. One of them was about military expansion. A member of the public asked, "Can you assure me you wouldnt expand military involvement abroad?" To which she answered, "No I cant." However, she did add that for her military involvement would be the last option. 
08:45  Consult IITs to save Taj Mahal from smoke, says SC:  Experts at IITs across the country should be consulted to assess whether smoke from cremations is damaging the Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court said to the government. The concerns about a crematorium in Agra located between the city's famous fort and the Taj have been shared by environmentalists and a Supreme Court judge who visited the monument late last year. 

Up to 25 funeral pyres are lit every day at the crematorium near the Taj Mahal, with experts including the local pollution board pointing out that smoke could smear the beautiful marble of one of the seven wonders of the world.

ALSO READ: Why saving the Taj is the most difficult battle for India
08:28  Islamic State plotting to target cow-worshipping Hindus in India:  Is the Islamic State plotting to specifically target cow-worshipping Hindus? A report in the Islamic State's' propaganda magazine claims Dabiq so. As per the report, the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-led IS has created a separate wing called Khorasan to target Hindus who worship cows. In an interview published in Dabiq, an IS commander is reported as saying that the ISIS also wants to spread its wings to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
07:57  Trump on Obama visiting mosque: 'Maybe he feels comfortable there':  Donald Trump revived questions of US President Barack Obama's religion, saying the US President went to a mosque in Baltimore because "maybe he feels comfortable there". "I think that we can go to lots of places. I don't know, maybe he feels comfortable there," Trump said, adding, "We have a lot of problems in this country. There are a lot of places he can go and he chose a mosque. I saw that just a little while ago. So that's his decision, it's fine."

Earlier, Obama made his first visit to a mosque as part of his effort to assure the religious minority of their safety and security and celebrate religious diversity of the country.
02:37  Hafiz Saeed praises Indian air base attack, warns of escalation:  A Pakistani firebrand cleric today praised a deadly Indian air base attack last month that threatened to scupper peace efforts between the nuclear rivals.

Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and leader of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, encouraged further violence following the air base assault in Pathankot that left seven Indian soldiers dead.

Addressing a rally of around one thousand people in the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region, Saeed said: "800,000 Indian troops are committing genocide on Kashmiris. Don't they have a right to carry out Pathankot style attacks for their defence?" Saeed, who remains a free man, also lauded Kashmiri militant leader Sayed Salahuddin, who heads the United Jihad Council that has claimed responsibility for the attack. "You have only seen one attack on Pathankot. Matters could easily escalate."
02:01  Underwater Atlantic Museum opens off Spain's Lanzarote island:  Accessible only to snorkelers, divers and sea life, Europe's first underwater museum is opening in waters off the Spanish island of Lanzarote.The Atlantic Museum, based on the seafloor of Las Coloradas bay, has begun installing a set of sculptures by international artist Jason deCaires Taylor inspired by "the defense of the ocean."DeCaires Taylor has supplied similar sculpture installations at underwater museums in the Bahamas, Mexico and the Antilles.

See it HERE
01:05  It is a time of concern and fear for Muslims across US: Obama:  Acknowledging that across the US it is a time of concern and fear for Muslims, US President Barack Obama today reiterated his commitment to "freedom of religion" and asked his countrymen to show that America truly protects all faiths.

"The best way to fight terrorism is to show the US does not suppress Islam and refute lies to the contrary," Obama said in his historic address to Muslim community from a mosque in Baltimore, Maryland. In his first visit to a mosque inside the US, Obama referred to the recent political rhetoric against Muslims in the country, where Christians are in majority, and said that the Americans cannot be silent bystanders to bigotry against any faith. 

"I know that in Muslim communities across our country this is a time of concern and, frankly, a time of some fear. Like all Americans, you're worried about the threat of terrorism, but on top of that, as Muslim-Americans, you also have another concern, and that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few," Obama said in his address to the Muslim American community.
00:52  Telangana police arrests LeT man wanted for plotting blasts in Hyd:  A Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative, wanted for allegedly plotting explosions in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and near a temple in 2004, was arrested by Telangana police after his deportation from Saudi Arabia, police said today. 

Abdul Aziz alias Ashrafi alias Giddah, a resident of Babanagar in Jalpally here, was allegedly involved in two cases pertaining to conspiracy to cause blasts in Hyderabad in 2001 and another one on conspiracy to cause explosion at Ganesh temple in Secunderabad in 2004, they said. 

Abdul Aziz, a hardcore communal element and the LeT operative, conspired to cause explosions in twin cities, a release issued by Telangana Police stated. "Abdul Aziz went to Saudi Arabia in the 90s, where he came into contact with LeT operatives. 

Aziz was expert in the fabrication of IEDs and was planning to cause explosions in Hyderabad and near the Ganesh temple in Secunderabad in 2004," as per the release.
00:05  European countries should make refugees their citizens: Ex-Greece PM:  European nations should offer a chance to refugees to be their citizens and invest in their education which could help solve problems plaguing "ageing Europe", former Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou said here today. 

"As far as refugees are concerned, we should give them a chance to become European citizens by investing in their education. It can help the problems of ageing Europe," Papandreou said while delivering a lecture at "D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas" organised by the state government.

He said by investing in refugees, including those from Syria, one should see opportunity to rebuilt our society. "Creating opportunities for them is what should be our approach. We should invest on the human beings. At the end, we are all citizens of the world," he said. Papandreou said the refugees should be allowed to experience the nature of democratic societies.
00:03  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Bengaluru shocker: Tanzanian woman beaten up, stripped
India needs to be mindful of 'do it yourself' terrorists, says Rajnath
Why India must pause its nuclear expansion plans
'Will Pawar say the courts are taking instructions from me?'
'Kejriwal can't handle being CM, dreams of being PM'
The inspiration behind Osama's 9/11 terror attack

Stars spotted!  What's this?

Spotted: Shaan in Hyderabad
Reader Sunil Kaswan has sent us a photograph.

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos