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LIVE! Parrikar admitted to Mumbai hospital with stomachache

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February 15, 2018

23:25  Parrikar admitted to Mumbai hospital with stomachache:  
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was today admitted in a private hospital in Mumbai after he complained of stomachache and underwent a check-up at Goa Medical College and Hospital.
He was admitted to Leelavati Hospital in Mumbai today.
"His treatment is being overseen by senior oncologist P Jagannath," said an official at the hospital.
The official said, "Primary symptoms in Parrikar's case appears to be of an ailment similar to what actor Amitabh Bachchan had been diagnosed with in 2005."
"Jagannath is the same doctor who successfully performed a surgery on Amitabh Bachchan for diverticulitis, a condition where balloon-like pouches develop in the large intestine.
"Primary symptoms of the Goa chief minister look similar. We need to wait for results of tests that may be carried out (before reaching a conclusion)," he said.
Parrikar was brought to Mumbai by a flight after initial examination at the GMCH for apparent food poisoning, an official in the chief minister's office had said earlier.
He visited the GMCG last night for check-up, complaining of stomach pain, the official said.
"He went home after initial check-up and again came to the hospital this morning for a second round of check-up. His health is better now, but he has been referred to a hospital in Mumbai for further check-up," the official had said.
The budget session of the Goa assembly will begin on Monday. Parrikar, who also holds finance portfolio, would be presenting the budget during the session. -- PTI 
23:10  Want to be known as a good actor, not just the wink queen: Priya Varrier:  
Her cute wink and coquettish smile may have made Priya Prakash Varrier the national crush but the debutante, who is enjoying her newfound fame, hopes to have a lasting acting career rather than being a fleeting Internet sensation.
The 18-year-old college student, whose appearance in the teaser song Mani Manikya Malaraya Poovi from film Oru Adaar Love ( A Superb Love Story) catapulted her to national fame, also has Bollywood dreams and counts Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shah Rukh Khan among her favourites.
"I would like to be known as a good actor rather than being known as the wink queen. This is a new feeling. But I am happy. The song has received good response," Varrier, whose Instagram following has now reached 3.3m and the numbers are growing, said.
"Our director told us that the 30-second shot should be a memorable one and we followed his vision. I never expected that it would become such a big hit. It is a school-centric film. We are discussing love, crushes and friendship. Love in the time of schooling is the theme of the film," she said.
In the viral number, the actor and her co-star Roshan Abdul Rahoof are seen doing a see-saw with their eyebrows before Varrier surprises him with a wink and a flirtatious smile.
Varrier credits Roshan for creating the moment by tweaking his eyebrows first.
The actor, whose father is a Central Excise officer and mother a home-maker, says acting was her dream and would like to balance it with her studies.
"Coming to films was a big dream of mine. But I never thought that from a single scene and a single movie, I will get recognised so much. It was all unexpected.
"I like Deepika Padukone very much. I would like to work with her. I want to work in Bollywood films and earn fame," she told television channels.
Her instant fame has led to many new offers and the actor says she is open to working in any industry, if she gets meaty roles. -- PTI
22:30  Lt Col Purohit declared hostile witness in Mecca Masjid blast case:  
Lt Col Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, today turned hostile while deposing in a court in Hyderabad as a witness in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.
Purohit had been listed as a witness by the CBI in the case related to the blast at the Mecca Masjid here on May 18, 2007 which killed nine persons and injured several others.
The case was later taken over by the National Investigation Agency.
A sessions court which is conducting trial in the case had summoned Purohit as a prosecution witness yesterday, said a prosecution officer.
During his deposition, Purohit said he had worked as an intelligence officer in the Army, and whomsoever (among the accused) he had met, it was only while discharging his official duty.
He denied that he was examined by the CBI in the Mecca Masjid blast case. The CBI never recorded his statement when he was lodged in the Nashik jail, he claimed in the court.
Contradicting the CBI's contention, Purohit said he didnt know Bharat Bhai, one of the accused. He knew Swami Aseemanand, another accused, Purohit said, but the two never spoke about the death of Sunil Joshi, a co-accused, he stated.
The prosecution declared him as hostile after he denied giving any statement to the CBI.

The Supreme Court granted bail to Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in August 2017, after he spent nine years in jail.

The Hyderabad court has examined 222 witnesses in the Mecca Masjid case so far. The next hearing would be on February 26.
Two of the eight accused in the case -- Swami Aseemanand and  Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai -- are on bail, while three others are in jail. -- PTI
21:33  'Full freedom to army to deal with Pak troops':  Full freedom given to commanders of army posts along Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to effectively respond to any act of violence by Pakistani troops, PTI reports quoting army sources. 
21:02  Priyanka Chopra may terminate contract with Nirav Modi: Spokesperson:  
Priyanka Chopra, who featured in one of the advertisement campaigns for jewellery designer Nirva Modi, is currently seeking legal opinion to terminate her contract with the brand, the actor's spokesperson said today.
Yesterday, state-owned Punjab National Bank said it has detected a USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam where the billionaire jeweller allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
On reports of her taking legal action against the brand for alleged non-payment of dues for the ad campaign, Priyanka's spokesperson said in a statement, "There are speculative reports that Priyanka Chopra has sued Nirav Modi. This is not true.

"However, she is currently seeking legal opinion with respect to terminating her contract with the brand in light of allegations of financial fraud against Nirav Modi."
Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who also featured in the same advertisement with Priyanka, told PTI that since his contract is already over with the brand he is not planning any legal action.
Last week, PNB had lodged a complaint with the CBI stating that fraudulent LoUs worth Rs 280.7 crore were first issued on January 16. At the time, PNB had said it was digging into records to examine the magnitude of the fraud.
The Enforcement Directorate today conducted multiple searches in connection with a Rs 280 crore money laundering case against the designer and others following a complaint by PNB. -- PTI
20:18  Uniting secular forces need of hour, says Sharad Pawar:  
Uniting "secular forces" was the need of the hour to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the next Lok Sabha polls, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said today, making it clear there would be no problems for him in engaging with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, whom he had once called 'immature'.
"Mr Gandhi is the Congress President for now. As a party head we have to discuss with him. There have occurred some unpleasant things in the past, but still our efforts will be to bring together secular parties. That is the need of the hour," he told reporters in Bengaluru.
Asked whether he would accept Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate since he had called him immature in the past, Pawar said, "I don't think the same as of now."
However, he hastened to add: "Before we could discuss on the prime ministership, it is necessary for us to win the Lok Sabha elections with clear majority."
He also said nothing would come in his party's way to discuss with Gandhi as he was the Congress party president.
To a question if NCP's move to tie-up with JDS to face the Karnataka assembly elections would affect his larger aim of bringing together the secular forces at the national level, the former Maharasthra chief minister said NCP's main target will be the BJP.
His party would work in such a way that "the secular forces are not affected," he added. -- PTI
20:04  Nirav Modi's properties raided, assets worth Rs 5,100 cr seized:  
The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches in several properties linked to billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi in Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat today, and seized diamond, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore, officials said.
The raids came after the agency filed a Rs 280-crore money laundering case against Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and business partner Mehul Choksi yesterday, following a complaint by Punjab National Bank.

ED officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said five properties belonging to Modi and the other accused in Mumbai were sealed by the agency. It was now planning to move the ministry of external affairs with a plea to revoke his passport, they said.

Agency sleuths swooped down on at least 10 premises linked to the case early this morning. They searched Modi's residence in Kurla, jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company offices in Bandra and Lower Parel in Mumbai, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.
Diamond, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore have been seized during the searches, the officials said.

The ED filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month.

It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.

The agency, they said, would probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.
Modi, 46, a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with wife, brother and business partner Choksi on January 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 280 crore.

The bank has sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, saying the scam was worth more than Rs 11,400 crore.
The ED has enllarged its probe to look into the charge of fraud of Rs 11,400 crore, agency officials said.
The CBI also raided the residences of Modi, his brother, wife and Choksi, all partners of Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds and two bank officials -- Gokulnath Shetty (now retired) and Manoj Kharat, who were also named in the FIR as accused. -- PTI

Image: A Nirav Modi showroom at Defence Colony area of New Delhi. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo
19:51  Kerala CM bats for 'Oru Aadar Love' song, says intolerance can't be accepted:  
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today came out in support of the teaser song of Oru Aadar Love against which a police complaint has been filed for hurting religious sentiments.
Intolerance towards the free expression of art and thought cannot be accepted, Vijayan said in a Facebook post.
Referring to the police complaint in Hyderabad against the film's director, Omar Lulu, over the song Mani Manikya Malaraya poovi, Vijayan said intolerance from any quarter cannot be accepted.
"In this matter, if anybody suspects that Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists were hand in glove, they cannot be blamed," he said.
The song went viral in the social media catapulting debutante actress Priya Prakash Varrier to instant stardom with her wink and smile.
Vijayan, who hails from Thalassery in the northern Kannur district, said the song is a re-mix of the mapilla pattu (traditional Muslim song), penned by P M A Jabbar and rendered by Thalassery Rafeeq. It was broadcast by Akashvani in 1978.
The rendition had made the song very popular, he said.
The song about Prophet Mohammad's love for his wife and his marriage has been sung during traditional Muslim wedding ceremonies for decades, Vijayan said.
"The controversy reminds us that fundamentalists, whichever section they belong to, hate all expressions of art. They cannot tolerate the bliss and knowledge common people receive through art and literature," he said.
Art and literature are "strong weapons against religious fundamentalism and communalism and we need to stand by the followers of liberal arts," Vijayan added. -- PTI 
18:55  Pak govt acting against us to please India, US: Hafiz Saeed:  
Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has said he will challenge the government's "illegal" action in the court of law after Pakistan launched a crackdown on seminaries and health facilities run by him.
Under pressure to act against banned groups, Pakistan took control of a seminary and four dispensaries run by Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation.
"After detaining me for 10 months without any legal ground, the government has now issued a notification regarding taking over our schools, dispensaries, ambulances and other assets. It will hamper our relief operations in Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Azad Kashmir and northern areas," Saeed said after the government's action.
According to the interior ministry notification, a copy of which available with PTI, "the federal government is pleased to direct that requisite actions with regard to freezing and taking over of assets (movable, immovable and human resource) associated with JuD and FIF shall be taken in pursuance of Ordinance No II of 2018."
The notification issuance date is February 10.
Punjab Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has also said that on the interior ministry's directions, Hafiz Saeed and his charities have been banned to operate in Pakistan and the government have already started taking over all the facilities, offices, schools, dispensaries and seminaries that belong to the JuD and FIF.
In a message to his workers, Saeed appealed for calm and asked them not give any violent reaction to the government action against their charities.
"This is the most difficult time but the workers must remain peaceful. The rulers are acting like more loyal than a king. India never bothered to implement UN resolutions on Kashmir but our rulers have got passed the president ordinance to take action against patriotic organisations like JuD and FIF," he said.
Saeed said the Pakistani government is "taking extreme action against us" to please America and India.
"We will fight our case in court against this illegal action," said Saeed, who heads the charity JuD, believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group.
Pakistan has come under intense pressure to rein in terror groups after US President Donald Trump accused the country of harbouring terrorists and suspended nearly USD 2 billion in security assistance to it. -- PTI 
18:32  Cyril Ramaphosa to be new South Africa president :  Cyril Ramaphosa was today elected unopposed as South Africa's new president, hours after longtime president Jacob Zuma resigned. 

Ramaphosa was elected unopposed in the National Assembly.

The announcement was welcomed by singing in the National Assembly. 

The 65-year-old leader was elected as the new President of the African National Congress two months ago.

Zuma, 75, last night stepped down after he was ordered by the ANC's national leadership to quit or face a no confidence emotion in Parliament. The ANC has a large majority in parliament. -- PTI 
17:40  BJP takes offence at Cong's 'Chhota Modi' jibe :  Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the Nirav Modi scam.

"I wish to make it very clear and this I can also convey on behalf of the government that nobody shall be spared in the banking system who has sought to derail the ordinary banking system to help Nirav Modi. This is regardless of stature and status of concerned official.

"The Congress using words like 'Chhota Modi' is not acceptable. BJP takes strong offence to the language used. It is derogatory.

"Even we have many pictures of Congress leaders with Mehul Choksi. But we don't want to stoop to that level. What is chhota Modi? There are lots of people by that surname in the country. 

"Nirav Modi's assets worth Rs 13,000 crore to be frozen, his passport to be revoked. Congress should not stoop to photo politics.

"Congress photo ki rajneeti bandh kare. Many good and cosy photographs of many of the Congress leaders with Mehul Choksi is available with us, but we don't want to stoop to that level.

"Nirav Modi did not meet PM Modi at Davos. He had arrived in Davos on his own and was present at the CII group photo event." 
17:19  Will take full capacity action against guilty: PNB:  The Punjab National Bank today said it will take "full-capacity" action against the wrongdoers in the Rs 11,400-crore Nirav Modi fraud case, which started in 2011. The state-owned bank said it had detected USD 1.77 billion fraud in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

PNB has suspended 10 officers over the scam and referred the matter to the CBI for investigations. The Enforcement Directorate is continuing raids at various places associated with the well-known jewellery designer.

PNB CMD Sunil Mehta told reporters that the bank detected the fraud and has referred the matter to the law enforcement agencies. "In the last 123 years, we have seen many ups and down. The bank at its full capacity will take every action to book wrongdoers. "This fraud had started in 2011. Our own bank detected first and told the law enforcement agencies about this. PNB is fully committed to its clean banking policy. That is why we are the first one to detect and report this to the various law enforcement agencies," he said.

Mehta tried to assure stakeholders saying that it was a standalone incident confined to a single branch in Mumbai. He also said all other branches of the bank have been scanned to check any fraudulent activity. The PNB CMD further said the bank has informed all its lenders about case.

"We have issued advisory as well to them. We were the first to inform SEBI about this under the disclosure norms. So all these things are as per our clean banking agenda," Mehta added. He further said the government was monitoring the case on day-to-day basis. The bank has the capability and capacity to come out of this situation." 
17:10  Iran's President Rouhani arrives in India :  
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today arrives in Hyderabad on a three-day visit to India.

Rouhani will be accorded a ceremonial reception on February 17. He will call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the visit with President Rouhani, both sides would review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. 
16:56  2 IAF pilots killed in crash in Assam:  
Two Indian Air Force pilots were killed in a plane crash near Jorhat in Assam today, official sources said.
The micro-light aircraft crashed soon after it took off from the Jorhat air base on a routine sortie around noon, they said.
The wreckage of the plane has been sighted and a court of inquiry ordered, the officials said. 
16:19  PM did not meet Nirav Modi in Davos: Reports:  ANI reports that no official business delegation travelled with PM Narendra Modi to Davos. "There was no meeting between Nirav Modi and PM Narendra Modi in Davos. It was just a photo opportunity at an event," sources told ANI. The Congress today alleged that the NDA government was looking the other way when billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi used his clout with the prime minister to slip out of the country and steal Rs 12,000 crore, drawing comparisons with the case of liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

State-owned Punjab National Bank yesterday said that it had detected a USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam where Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

"Guide to looting India by Nirav Modi--1. Hug PM Modi 2. Be seen with him in DAVOS. Use that clout to: A. Steal 12,000 crore B. Slip out of the country like Mallya, while the government looks the other way," Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surejewala raised questions on whether Nirav Modi had been tipped off following which he left the country. "Who is Nirav Modi? The new #ModiScam? Was he tipped off like Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya to escape by someone within the government," he asked.

"Has it become the norm for letting people run away with public money? Who is responsible," Surjewala tweeted.
16:07  Nirav Modi's wife, an American citizen, left India on 6 Jan 2018, Mehul Choksi left the country on 4 Jan 2018., Nirav Modi's brother Nishal Modi, a Belgian citizen, left India on 1 Jan 2018. CBI had issued look out circulars against all accused on 31 Jan 2018: Official Sources
16:00  CPM leader among 7 arrested for kicking pregnant woman :  A Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) leader and six others were arrested on Thursday for allegedly kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach.

The incident took place in Kerala's Kodenchery town in Kozhikode district. The victim had to undergo an abortion after she lost her child.

It all began over a dispute over a compound border. The woman said her family began receiving threats from the other party in the dispute. "I complained at the police station and the police told them not to create problems.

"Mediator Saithalavi came to our house after 9 pm and we said we were not interested in talking. He called other people and nearly eight people came into our house and attacked my husband and my child," she told ANI, and added that along with her family members, she too was beaten by the attackers.

The woman also said that when she tried calling the police, they refused to come, saying they do not have a vehicle. Following the attack, she filed a complaint at two police stations and was later approached by CPM leaders to drop charges against their party member, the woman told.  -- ANI
15:42  5 accused behind terrorist's escape from SMHS hospital in NIA custody:  The National Investigation Agency today took the custody of five accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from the SMHS hospital, an official spokesman said in Srinagar.

The NIA spokesman said the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate granted a two-day transit remand of the five accused who had been nabbed by the police on February 8, two days after the escape of 22-year-old Jhatt alias Abu Hanzalla from the busy hospital in the city.

The five accused -- Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, Mohammed Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammed Ganai -- were arrested by the police for allegedly conspiring in the escape of Jhatt.

All the five accused are residents of Pulwama. The NIA re-registered the case pertaining to the escape from custody of Jhatt from the SMHS hospital where he was brought in for treatment on February 6.

Bhat is believed to be one of the masterminds of the escape of Jhatt and his motorcycle had been used in the escape of the terrorist, police said. Khan, a resident of Pulwama, is alleged to have provided his car for further transportation of Jhatt out of the city, police said.

Jhatt is at present believed to be in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir, they said. Shafi, who is from Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar city, had posed as a patient to provide cover for the terrorists escape. Jhatt had managed to escape on February 6 after at least two other militants attacked the police escort team at the SMHS Hospital here, killing two cops. -- PTI

Image: Escaped terrorist Naveed Jhatt.
15:25  @SitaramYechury If this person had fled India before the FIR on Jan 31, then he is here, photographed at Davos with PM, a week before the FIR, after having escaped from India? Modi govt must clarify. #NiravModi #PublicMoneyLoot

Nirav Modi is in the second row, third from left.
15:04  PNB: Scam has been going since 2011:  Punjab National Bank MD and CEO Sunil Mehta addressing the media in Delhi on the Nirav Modi case.  Highlights of the conference.

Mehta said the scam was first detected by PNB officials in 2011 and had been reported to the concerned agencies. "We have initiated recovery; will honour all bonafide liability," the CEO said.

"We detected the fraud on January 3. We got to know that two of our employees did some un-authorised transactions.

"The CBI received the complaint from PNB on January 29, 2018. The CBI registered the case on 31st January.

"Nirav Modi left the country on the 1st of January. A lookout notice has also been issued against him.

"PNB has the capability and the capacity to deal with the situation arising from the fraud case.

"Hum kisi bhi galat kaam ko badhaava nahi denge. Hum log iss cheez ko surface pe lekar aaye.

"The bank intiated criminal action against our staff members. But this is a standalone incident. It has taken place only in one of our branches.  

"In response to our registered FIR, raids are being conducted on involved groups establishments; documents & records are being seized.

"Steps are being taken to protect financial interest of banks.

The enforcement directorate swooped down on at least ten premises of entities involved in the case early morning.  The premises raided by the ED here include Nirav Modi's residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.  

Image: PNB CEO & MD Sunil Mehta
14:26  Amit Shah begins bike rally in Haryana:  BJP President Amit Shah on his way with party workers to 'Hunkar Rally' venue in Jind, Haryana.
14:23  The hawk-eyed hero who spotted the terrorists at Sunjuwan:  A group of heavily-armed men struck the sprawling camp of the 36 brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry before dawn on February 10, killing six people including five soldiers.

Five Army personnel, hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, and the father of one of the slain soldiers, were killed and 10 others, including two officers and six women and children, were injured in the incident.

The casualties were limited because of the bravery and the alertness of a sentry at the camp -- CRPF constable, Raghunath Ghait.

Early in the morning at around 4:30 am, the alert CRPF sentry of 23 Bn Karan Nagar spotted two militants carrying backpacks and armed with AK-47 rifles.

The sentry opened fire due to which terrorists fled towards the nearby locality and took refuge in an underconstruction building near Gole Market, Karan Nagar.

"Mujhe jab pata chala ki yeh militant hain, main saamne aaya aur unko lalkaara. Yeh haadsa subha 4.30-5 baje ke kareeb hua. Agar yeh log camp ke andar chale jaate toh bahot nuksan ho jaata," Ghait said.
13:59  When people have a lot of time on their hands...

Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam files a petition in the Coimbatore family court seeking divorce between a dog and a goat married by a group in protest against Valentine's Day yesterday in Tamil Nadu.
13:38  Pune woman becomes grandmother with dead son's preserved semen:  A Pune-based woman's world came to an unexpected standstill when her son succumbed to cancer two years ago in Germany. But her joy knows no bounds now.

She became a grandmother to twins born via surrogacy methods using her son's cryo-preserved semen. Doctors at Pune's Sahyadri Hospital performed the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure and fused Prathamesh Patil's semen, extracted and preserved long before his death in Germany, with the eggs of a donor to form embryos.

The embryos were then transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother, who gave birth to the twins - a boy and a girl - on Monday.

Prathamesh Patil's mother Rajashree Patil said in 2010 her son had gone to Germany to pursue a master's degree when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

"The news was a shock to our family. Health experts in Germany suggested that Prathamesh start chemotherapy and radiation procedures. They also asked him to preserve his semen to avoid any negative effects on his body post-treatment," she said.

However, he suffered convulsions and also lost his vision, said Rajashree Patil, who teaches at a school in Pune. "After getting to know about his condition, which was a stage-four cancer, as informed by medical officers there, my first effort was to bring Prathamesh back to India from Germany," she said.

The family brought the ailing Prathamesh to India in 2013 and took him to a hospital in Mumbai, where he was operated upon following which his health showed signs of improvement. "However, in between, he suffered another convulsion and was detected with a recurring tumour. He succumbed to a malignant tumour in September 2016," the mother said.

After his death, the mother, having a desire to get back her son, contacted the semen bank in Germany where Prathamesh Patil's semen was cryo-preserved. After completing the formalities, the semen was brought to India.

The mother then approached Sahyadri Hospital for an IVF procedure with the help of his son's semen. Supriya Puranik, the head of IVF, gynaecology and obstetrics department at the hospital, said she is happy that advancement in science and technology is bringing smile on people's face.
13:33  PNB sends 'caution notices' to 30 banks after Nirav Modi fraud :  Two days before suspending 10 of its officials in connection with jewellery designer Nirav Modi fraud case, the Punjab National Bank on Monday sent a caution notice to all the banks, informing about the modus operandi of the fraud.

The notice was sent to Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of lndia, Corporation Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, Dena Bank, Dhan Laxmi Bank, lClCI Bank, IDBI Bank, lndian Overseas Bank, Indusind Bank, J & K bank, Karnataka bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Oriental bank of Commerce, Punjab & Sindh Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of lndia, State bank of Mauritius, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of lndia, United bank of lndia, UCO bank, Vitala Bank, and Exim bank.

Meanwhile, Axis Bank on Thursday issued a letter to National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange, notifying that it had undertaken transactions against Letters of Undertaking issued by other banks, with PNB in the past.

The letter further read, "Axis Bank is also an active participant in the secondary market for such transactions, and the bank had sold down all of the referred transactions."

Axis Bank requested PNB "to take note of the above and arrange to bring it to the notice of all concerned."

However, PNB had sent the notice after it was found that the fraud had been carried out by the perpetrators in collusion with the staff at one of the branches in Mumbai, wherein one junior level branch official unauthorisedly and fraudulently issued LoUs on behalf of some companies belonging to Nirav Modi group viz. Solar Exports, Steller Diamonds and Diamond R Us for availing buyers' Credit from overseas branches of Indian Banks.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had on Monday booked Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and the officials of PNB, for allegedly cheating the bank to the tune of Rs. 280.7 crore.

The case against the famous jewellery designer comes after the Income Tax department raided Modi's offices in Delhi, Surat and Jaipur. ANI

13:12  Thackeray to meet Fadnavis over opposed oil refinery project :  Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray will be meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, on Thursday over widespread objection on an upcoming oil refinery in Ratnagiri district.

Thackeray will be accompanied by a delegation of locals from Ratnagiri who are opposing the project. It is notable that the Shiv Sena has announced a break-up from its ally in the state, BJP, and will be contesting the 2019 general election alone.

The chemical industry projects in Ratnagiri are also part of the Shiv Sena's grievances with the BJP, given the projects require displacement of several houses in the area as well as pose health hazards.

Locals are up in arms over the West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical project proposed to go on floors in Ratnagiri district along the Konkan coast, and have staged protests as well. Besides the refinery, the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is also proposed to come up just 15 kilometers away.

File pic.
12:50  Sensex rises over 200 points, Nifty near 10600:  The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading up by 227 points or 0.67 per cent in afternoon trade as banking, IT, pharma and oil stocks gained amid firm global markets.

The benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty had opened 0.50 per cent higher on positive global cues. Buying was seen in metal, IT, banking and financial counters.

While healthcare and consumer durables stocks saw selling activity. At 1220 hours, the BSE Sensex rose 227 points or 0.67 per cent at 34,383.83. Meanwhile the broader Nifty 50 index gained 72.05 points or 0.69 per cent at 10,572.95.

Healthcare and consumer durables stocks saw selling activity. Major gainers were ICICI Bank 2.67 per cent, Infy 2.04 per cent, Yes Bank 1.73 per cent, Adani Ports 1.55 per cent and HDFC 1.35 per cent. Losers include Hero Motoco 1.25 per cent, Asian Paints 0.83 per cent, Wipro 0.20 per cent and Kotak Bank 0.12 per cent. -- PTI
12:39  Arrested IM terrorist sent to 25 days police remand:  The arrested Indian Mujahideen terrorist, Ariz Khan was sent to 25 days of police remand by a Delhi court on Thursday.

Ariz Khan, alias Junaid, was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Team on Wednesday, for his suspected involvement in the five bomb blast cases.

Khan is an expert bomb maker, conspirator, and executioner. He was associated with Atif Amin, who was killed in Batla House encounter in 2008. He was also wanted in 2007 UP blasts, 2008 Jaipur serial blasts, 2008 Ahmedabad blasts and had escaped from Batla House encounter.

A former Delhi Police Commissioner, Neeraj Kumar remarked that Khan's arrest disproved doubts on the genuineness of Batla encounter, "Ariz Khan was the terrorist who was at the spot during Batla encounter but who managed to escape. His arrest proves that politically motivated theories given by some doubting the genuineness of Batla encounter were wrong."
12:26  ED raids in Nirav Modi-PNB Rs 280-cr fraud PMLA case:  The Enforcement Directorate today conducted multiple searches in connection with a Rs 280 crore money laundering case against billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi and others following a complaint by Punjab National Bank. Official sources said the agency sleuths swooped down on at least ten premises of entities involved in the case early morning.

The premises raided by the ED here include Modi's residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

The ED had filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month. It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.

The agency, they said, would probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.

The CBI had booked Modi, his brother, wife and a business partner for allegedly cheating PNB of over Rs 280.70 crore in 2017. The CBI had also raided the residence of Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi, all partners of Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds and two bank officials -- Gokulnath Shetty (now retired) and Manoj Kharat, who were also named in the FIR as accused. Modi (46), who had figured in the Forbes' list of richest Indians, was booked by the CBI for cheating after PNB sent a complaint to it alleging that the jewellery firm owner, his brother, wife and Choksi entered into a criminal conspiracy with the officials of the bank and cheated it, causing a "wrongful loss".
12:20  PM in Arunachal: The rays of progress will shine here :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, to inaugurate the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre in the state capital. The Centre is expected to become a significant landmark of the city.

"Jis Arunachal se prakaash failta hai, aane waale dinon mein bhi yahaan vikas ka aisa prakaash phailega ki poora desh dekhega. The Arunachal from which the sun rises, in the coming days, it will be from here that the rays of development will take place.

"I am personally going to tell people -- go to Arunachal Pradesh and hold your important meetings at the convention centre.

"Why should meetings only be held in the national capital? We must go to all states and that is why I came to Shillong for a Northeastern Council meeting and an important meeting related to agriculture was held in Sikkim."

The Prime Minister will also dedicate the State Civil Secretariat Building to the nation and lay the foundation stone of the Academic Block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science.

The PM said healthcare has to be of good quality and it must be affordable. "We are working towards building medical colleges across the country. This is because, when one studies in a particular area, one becomes better acquainted with the local health challenges.  

"Iss desh mein paise ki kami nahi hai, lekin agar baalti mein chedd ho toh paani bharega kya? Humaare desh mein pehle aise hi chala hai.

"Morarji Desai was the last PM to attend the North East Council meeting, no PM had the time to attend it after that. They became very busy. But I have come because of you. That's why I went to attend the North East Council meeting," the PM said. 
11:52   ED searches multiple locations in Mumbai in connection with Rs 280 cr money laundering case against Nirav Modi: Officials.
11:34  J-K: Indian Army foils infiltration bid in Poonch:  The Indian army has foiled an infiltration bid by terrorists in Kashmir on Thursday.The incident took place early in the morning at Mendhar sector in Pooch. A search operation is being conducted in the area. Further details are awaited.
11:31  TV host tells Muslim fashion blogger she doesn't sound American :  Hosts of an American TV show have sparked controversy after they made 'Islamophobic' remarks in an interview with a Muslim fashion blogger, who grew up in Oklahoma City of United States.

Iranian-American Muslim fashion blogger Hoda Katebi was told during a segment on local Chicago's WGN News' morning show that she 'does not sound American' because of her views, on live television.

The chat show host Robin Baumgarten asked Katebi about her opinion on Iran and nuclear weapons and she was laughed at for growing up in Oklahoma.

She was on the show to talk about bridging the gap between America and the Middle East through fashion and being an American hijab wearing Muslim and discussed being physically assaulted for wearing her hijab starting in the sixth grade in Oklahoma.

However, soon she was asked, 'Let's talk about nuclear weapons,' to which Katebi responded while laughing uncomfortably with, 'Okay.'

After which, Baumgarten's co-anchor Larry Potash said, "Some of our viewers say, We can not trust Iran."

"I don't think we can trust this country... I am a pacifist, I don't believe in violence," Katebi responded.

Katebi was called for an interview on her book, Tehran Street Style, and her blog. It was aired live on January 31.After the interview, Katebi wrote a post on her blog Joo Joo to share her ordeal.

"So hindsight is always 20/20, and I honestly should have just stopped him right there and questioned why he thought it was okay to make this ridiculous comment and pose it as a question..." she wrote. - ANI
11:22  How Bank of Barodas misadventures dragged it into South Africas political crisis:  A scandal involving Bank of Baroda's South Africa operations, a cabal of businessmen of Indian origin, and South African President Jacob Zuma, has undermined the reputation of India's second largest bank and resulted in an unprecedented penalty by the South African Reserve Bank. Read more
11:16  Did the PM speak to his wife after her accident?:  Two questions have occasionally bubbled up and receded swiftly among some of those who had noticed a report on a road accident tucked away in newspapers last week: has Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi recovered fully from the injuries suffered in the collision and did her husband look her up after the lethal accident in which a relative was killed?

The answers are essentially private matters between two individuals but when they involve the Prime Minister and his wife, it is only natural in a democracy for citizens to air such questions and the media to try and answer them.

The answer to the first question: Yes, Jashodaben has recovered from the injuries.

The answer to the second question: "You can ask Modiji if he spoke to his wife or not," her brother Ashok Modi told The Telegraph over the phone on Wednesday. Read more

Image: Jashodaben being escorted to hospital after the accident.
10:57  Khadga Prasad Oli to be Nepal's next PM:  Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba resigns, Khadga Prasad Oli to be the next Prime Minister.
10:54  Jewellery stocks take a hit after PNB fraud:  Shares of Gitanjali Gems today plunged up to 19 per cent in morning trade after the company came under scanner of various investigating agencies following the Punjab National Bank's declaration of nearly Rs 11,400-crore fraud. The stock today opened on a bearish note at Rs 48, then lost further ground to touch a low of Rs 47.50, down 18.94 per cent over its previous closing price.

Similar movement was seen on the NSE as well, where the stock tanked 18.73 per cent to a low of Rs 47.50.

Punjab National Bank yesterday disclosed that it has detected some fraudulent transactions with financial implication of USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,346 crore) and the matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies for the recovery. "Four big jewellers -- Gitanjali, Ginni, Nakshatra and Nirav Modi -- are under scanner.  -- PTI
10:49  My teacher has been shot: Eyewitness account of the Florida shootout :  Security expert Joel Leffler was on a business trip in Dallas when he got a call from his son, a 16-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"He called me as he was running out of the school," Mr Leffler said. "He was panicking, freaking out, he heard like eight gunshots, he was very scared.

His son said the shots seemed to be coming from the ninth-grade building, where his 14-year-old sister was. Leffler said he had to talk his son out of going to find his sister.

Leffler reached his daughter on the phone briefly. "She was whispering, hiding, then the phone went dead, because she didn't want anyone to hear her," he said. "And for the next 35 minutes before I heard from her, it was pretty terrifying."

When he finally heard from her, she told him her teacher had been shot and killed.

"She's 14 years old and she had to see multiple dead bodies,' he said. "It's something that you hear about all the time, and you never think it will happen to you."

Seventeen people were killed and more than a dozen injured when a gunman open fired at the high school Wednesday afternoon. Police said the suspect, a 19-year-old former student, is in custody. 
10:31  Iran President to arrive in Hyderabad today:  Iran President Dr Hassan Rouhani will arrive in Hyderabad on Thursday evening on a three-day visit to India.

Rouhani will address the Muslim congregation at Makkah Masjid, after performing the Friday prayers at the historic mosque before leaving for Delhi.

Religious scholars from different schools of thoughts will also participate in the session.

This is the second time that the Rouhani will be visiting Hyderabad, and the first visit after assuming charge as the President in 2013.

The Iran President holds a doctorate in Constitutional Law (with the thesis titled- Flexibility of Shariah and Islamic Law) from Glasgow's Caledonian University in the United Kingdom. -- ANI
10:18  Florida shootout: Intel officer breaks down on camera :  A former Central Intelligence Agency  and Federal Bureau of Investigation Philip Mudd broke down into tears on camera during an interview, following the shooting at a Florida high school on Wednesday.

Philip Mudd, while speaking to CNN, condemned the incident and urged the people to speak against it.

He was emotional and visibly disturbed while saying, "A child of God is dead. Can not we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?"

Mudd also blamed the ISIS and Al Queda, which might have provided the ammunition and grenades used by the accused to conduct the shooting.

17 people were killed on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

As per local media reports, the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, northwest of Fort Lauderdale, was carried out by 19-year-old Nikolaus Cruz, who has been taken to custody for further investigation.

The suspect was a former student and was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons. -- ANI
10:10  Trumps' respond to Florida shootout :  Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.

Melania Trump @FLOTUS My heart is heavy over the school shooting in Florida. Keeping all affected  in my thoughts & prayers.
10:08  Gun law may not have prevented Florida shootout: Senator:  Florida Senator Marco Rubio cautioned that a law may not have prevented the tragic shooting at a South Florida high school, in response to calls for increased gun control, The Hill, reports.

Rubio said that "people still don't know how" the shooting occurred, or how the 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz obtained the weapon he used to kill 17 people in the Broward County school.

"I think it's important to know all of that before you jump to conclusions that there was some law that we could have passed that would have prevented it. And there may be, but shouldn't we at least know the facts?" Rubio said on Fox News.

Rubio said it was not appropriate for his Senate colleagues to use the incident as an opportunity to call for increased gun control immediately.

Sen. Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor after the shooting, calling the tragedy a "a consequence of our inaction' on gun violence. He said that mass shootings are a uniquely American problem. "I think you can always have that debate," Rubio said of gun rights. "But if you're gonna have that debate about this particular incident you should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law that you claim could have prevented it." 

Image: Suspect Nicolas Cruz was taken into custody after the shooting.
09:25  PM Modi to visit Arunachal today:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the state of Arunachal Pradesh today to inaugurate the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre in Itanagar.

The Centre is expected to become a significant landmark of the city.

The PM will also dedicate the State Civil Secretariat Building to the nation and lay the foundation stone of the Academic Block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science.

Prime Minister Modi took to Twitter to convey the same. "Happy to be visiting Arunachal Pradesh today. At a programme in Itanagar, the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre will be inaugurated. This Centre is expected to become a significant landmark of Itanagar," he wrote. 

PM Modi will also be visiting poll-bound Tripura to address various rallies. 

-- ANI
09:06  Rajasthan minister caught urinating on wall; he says not 'a big issue':  
In embarrassment for the BJP government in Rajasthan, a picture of state Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf urinating on the walls of the Pink City has gone viral. He however shrugged it off, saying it was "not a big issue".

The picture comes as the Jaipur Municipal Corporation is working hard to bring the city on the top charts under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

According to rules, those urinating on roads are asked to cough up fine of Rs 200.

He declined to comment to the media, saying he doesn't want to talk on this topic as it is not a big issue.

The incident comes days after Kota BJP leader Ashok Choudhary wrote to BJP President Amit Shah, voicing dissatisfaction with the Vasundhara Raje government. This was followed by an audio clip going viral in which BJP MLA Gyandev Ahuja is heard asking for a leadership change.
08:41  Attacks on Army, CRPF camps joint plan by LeT, Jaish:  
Investigations so far into the terrorist attack at an army camp at Sunjuwan in Jammu and the bid to storm a CRPF camp at Karan Nagar in Srinagar a day later indicate that the two attacks were synchronised as part of a joint strategy by Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashker-e-Tayiba to hit security forces simultaneously in the two regions.

It is rare for two fidayeen attacks on security camps to be staged simultaneously. The purpose of a fidayeen attack, which is usually made to stretch over 2-3 days as terrorists engage counter-forces with all the ammunition at their disposal, is to grab undivided media attention.

However, there was a departure this time with the Sunjuwan attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists followed by LeTs Karan Nagar strike just a day later, a senior J&K police officer said. 

The agencies say Jaish and LeT commanders operating in south Kashmir areas like Tral and Pulwama decided to join hands and stage a fidayeen attack in Jammu region and immediately follow it up with another suicide strike at a CRPF camp in Srinagar.

While the Jammu mission was assigned to Jaish, LeT was chosen to execute the Srinagar strike. The near-simultaneous strikes in Jammu and Kashmir regions were possibly to divide the attention of the agencies and counter-forces, said a senior officer of J&K police. All the five terrorists involved in the two strikes - 3 in Jammu and 2 in Srinagar - were Pakistanis.
08:07  South Africa's Zuma resigns 'with immediate effect':  
South African President Jacob Zuma announced his immediate resignation today after the ruling ANC party threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence.

Scandal-tainted Zuma said in a 30-minute national television address that he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect".

"I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with the highest office in the land," he said.

Zuma, whose reputation has been stained by years-long allegations of graft, had been instructed to step down by the African National Congress party.

He complained about the process, saying: "I don't fear exiting political office however I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its instructions that I vacate office."

Zuma has been at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor as president and the new head of the ANC.

Parliament could elect Ramaphosa as president as early as Thursday or Friday.
00:05  What Kejriwal told a DU student wishing him on Valentine's Day:  A Valentine's Day wish from a Delhi University student left Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal blushing and extracted a response which addressed his rivals and youths alike: hatred can only be countered through love.

Kejriwal was taking questions from public through phone and social media to mark the third anniversary of his government assuming office in the city when the student called him and wished him on the Valentine's Day.

This left the 49-year-old chief minister visibly blushing.

When she asked the chief minister as to what was his message to the youths on this day, Kejriwal said an attempt was being made to divide the country in the name of caste and religion.

"Nafrat ka jawab nafrat nahi, nafrat ko pyar aur mohabbat se counter kiya ja sakta hai (Hatred for hatred is not the answer, hatred can only be countered through love)," he said.

"Divisive politics is being resorted to," he said, "which is a matter of concern for the country."

People will have to collectively stand against divisive politics and nobody should be a mute spectator, he said.

At the event, Kejriwal highlighted the works of his government done in the last three years.

"We all will have to work for the development of the country," he said.  -- PTI

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