Sat, 24 August 2013
Live! Delhi: Massive fire at factory in Kalkaji area

Timeline  Refresh

23:36   Delhi: Massive fire at factory in Kalkaji area
A huge fire has been reported from a plastic factory in the Kalkaji area of New Delhi. 20 fire engines have been rushed to the spot.

No casualties have been reported. The fire is now under control.

Image: Representation pic
23:10   Out of 48,969 policemen in Mumbai, 27,740 are on VIP duty
NDTV reports: The gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist in the heart of Mumbai has once again raised questions over the security of women in India.

Now, a Right To Information or RTI query has revealed some shocking numbers. According to the reply received on an RTI query by activist, Vihar Durve, out of 48,969 policemen on duty in Mumbai, 27,740 are deployed for security of VIPs, which leaves only 20,000 cops for the security of over 2 crore residents of the city.

Read the full report here
22:46   Sexual assault case: Police likely to interrogate Asaram Bapu
The Rajasthan police is set to leave for Ahmedabad to interrogate self-styled godman Asaram Bapu after another team, which had been sent to Chhindwara Gurukul where the girl, who has accused him of sexual exploitation, has been studying, gathered some vital evidences.

"We have got some vital evidences from the Gurukul and now we are planning to send the team to Ahmedabad to interrogate Bapu. He may be brought here," said a police official, adding that it is not yet confirmed that when this team would leave. "It may be on Sunday after the team from Chhindwara is back," the official informed.
22:43   Anti-superstition ordinance promulgated in Maharashtra
The anti-black magic and superstitionordinance has been promulgated in Maharashtra, four days after the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune.   

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan has given his assent to the anti- black magic and superstition ordinance. "The ordinance has been promulgated," a Raj Bhavanspokesperson said in Mumbai this evening.
21:48   Another ceasefire violation by Pak, firing still on
There was another ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Balakot sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The firing is still on, reports CNN IBN
21:42   Visakhapatnam HPCL refinery fire: Death toll rises to eight
The death toll in yesterday's fire at state-run refinery-cum-petrochemical complex of Hindustan Petroleum in Visakhapatnam mounted to eight, including an employee of the PSU, Union Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily said tonight.

Out of the 39 contract workers injured in the mishap, seven have received burns above 70 per cent and 17 others burns above 40 per cent.

"In all eight persons, including seven workers of a private company and an HPCL employee, were killed in the mishap and 39 received burn injuries," Moily told reporters after visiting the site to assess the situation.
21:39   Amid tension along LoC, 362 Indian fishermen repatriated from Pak
Over 350 Indian prisoners, released from Pakistan jails, were repatriated on Saturday through the Attari-Wagah land border crossing.

A total of 362 Indian nationals, including eight juveniles, were repatriated after emergency travel certificates were issued to them by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, officials said.

The juveniles were released from the Youthful Offenders Home in Landhi, while the prisoners were freed from Malir jail of Karachi. Most of the Indians are fishermen arrested by the Maritime Security Agency for crossing into Pakistani waters near the disputed Sir Creek.
21:22   Jagan to launch indefinite hunger strike from jail
YSR Congress honorary president Y S Vijayamma called off her indefinite fast opposing proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday after she was forcibly shifted to a hospital in Guntur in the wee hours.

Vijayamma, who began indefinite hunger strike at Guntur on August 19, called off the protest in the evening though she had vowed to continue it from the hospital. She also announced that her son and jailed Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy would go on indefinite fast seeking "justice for Seemandhra people".

"I am ending my indefinite fast on request of Jagan," she told reporters at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada while returning to Hyderabad from Guntur.
20:56   Sonia congratulates Karnataka CM over phone for by-poll victory
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today congratulated Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his team for winning the Lok Sabha by-polls for Bangalore Rural and Mandya seats.

"Your efforts have yielded results. I congratulate you and your team. Take the state forward with your good work," Gandhi told Siddaramaiah over phone, according to the chief minister's office statement.

Siddaramaiah thanked Gandhi for the confidence reposed in him and assured a strong, stable and people-friendly government for Karnataka under his leadership.
20:49   UPA III will come to power, says a confident Sonia
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appeared to rule out early Lok Sabha polls, saying "our aim is to go till the very end".

She initially tried to steer clear of the question when asked by reporters whether Congress would go for polls after passage of landmark legislations like Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill. "I cannot say anything," she remarked when another questioner put the same question. But when persisted, Gandhi, who is also UPA chairperson, said, "Our aim is to go till the very end".

Interacting with reporters after inaugurating the National Media Centre, she expressed confidence that the UPA-III will come to power after the next polls.
20:22   Chiranjeevi launches 'I respect women' campaign'
Expressing his concern over media reports of harassment met by an American student in India, Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi has said that his ministry has launched a sensitisation campaign called 'I respect women' which is about according due respect to women.

In a press statement issued by the Tourism Ministry today, Chiranjeevi informed about the Government of India's efforts in ensuring safety of women tourists in India.

"I was extremely pained when I read about the harassment that a student encountered during her year long stay in India. I have personally taken-up similar issues with several chief ministers and have addressed all state tourism ministers. Consequently, all state tourism departments have unanimously agreed to put into place, measures to give greater security to all tourists, especially women tourists,' said Chiranjeevi.
20:18   Delhi gang rape: Accused intended to victim, friend, court told
The prosecution in the December 16 gang rape case on Saturday told a court in Mumbai that the brutal assault meted out to the victim and her male friend by the alleged rapists was with a motive to "eliminate" them so that neither was left alive to narrate the horrific ordeal.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan in his submission before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said that the intestine of the 23-year-old paramedic was damaged with an iron rod, which left her bleeding profusely and finally resulted in her death.
19:45   'Chennai Express' becomes the highest grossing Bollywood film ever
CNN IBN reports" Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone starrer 'Chennai Express' is doing wonders at the box-office.

Sinking all the previous records, 'Chennai Express' has emerged as the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time. As per trade analyst Taran Adarsh, 'Chennai Express' has now broken all existing box-office records. He tweeted, "#ChennaiExpress creates HISTORY. Week 1: 156.70 cr. Week 2: 43.85 cr. Week 3 - Fri: 2.12 cr. grand total: Rs 202.67 cr nett. India biz only."
19:31   Mumbai gang rape: Third accused arrested, hunt on for 2 more
The crime branch today arrested the third accused in the gang-rape case of a Mumbai photojournalist. The third suspect is aged between 2- to 25 years. Two more accused in the case are absconding.

According to Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, more than 20 teams, including 10 from the elite Crime Branch, have been formed to track down the perpetrators amid mounting public pressure and anger.  
19:17   Sushma pitches for death for culprits of Mumbai-like gang rape
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said she firmly believes that culprits of such crimes like the brutal gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai should be given death sentence.

Asked if she still holds the opinion she had articulated after the Nirbhaya gang rape in Delhi on December 16, Swaraj said, "I am of the firm view and I reiterate my stand that if punishment of this kind (death sentence) is given to the accused in the Damini... Nirbhaya case, there will definitely be a stop somewhere."
19:01   Mumbai gang rape: Birth card of accused tampered to show he is a minor?
The grandmother of one of the accused in the Mumbai gang rape case, has said that her grandson was not present at the scene of the crime at the time of the incident and that he had run away. According to CNN IBN, the birth card to accused has been tampered to show that he is a juvenile.

Read the full report here
18:22   Broken beer bottle held over Mumbai gang-rape survivor's head
When the 22-year-old intern who had been gang-raped by five men in the heart of Mumbai met doctors at the city's Jaslok Hospital two hours after her barbarous assault, she disclosed that a broken beer bottle had been held over her head by the gang who allegedly took turns at raping her, reports MiD DAY.

"They took my photographs on their cell phones and threatened that if I spoke about the incident to anyone, they would defame me by revealing my identity," the victim said in her statement to the police.

Read the full report here
18:19   Tunda undergoes pacemaker implant surgery at AIIMS
Lashker-e-Tayiba operative Abdul Karim Tunda, who is admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, underwent a surgery to implant a pacemaker in his heart on Saturday.

Seventy-year-old Tunda, who was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital Thursday night after he complained of severe chest pain and shifted to AIIMS on Friday afternoon, was detected with complete heart block, hospital sources said. His condition was stated to be stable after the surgery.
18:10   Violence mars student union elections in Jodhpur
Violence marred student union elections of Jai Narayan Vyas University in Jodhpur as three students and a policeman were injured after clashes broke out between rival groups.

Clashes broke out in different areas like Old Campus, K N Girls College and Mohanpura Pulia during the elections. The turnout for the polling remained abysmally low as several students did not participate in the voting following violence.

A turnout of 44.95 per cent was recorded in the election, chief election officer Sudhi Rajeev said.
17:48   HC dismisses PIL challenging UP govt's ban of VHP yatra
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Saturday dismissed a petition against the Uttar Pradesh government's ban on Vishwa Hindu Parisha's proposed Yatra from Ayodhya.

A division bench comprising Justice Laxmi Kant Mahapatra and Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhaya dismissed the public interest litigation filed by a local lawyer Mahesh Gupta.

The PIL was filed on Friday, seeking a direction to the state government to allow the devotees to undertake the 84 kosi parikrama in Ayodhya from on Sunday.
17:12   Shiv Sena MLA, who abused women staff at toll plaza, resigns
Shiv Sena MLA Anil Kadam, who abused women staff, at a Nashik poll plaza has sent his resignation to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

The Shiv Sena leader, when asked to pay toll, got out of his car and warned the all-women staff at a toll plaza  in his Niphad constituency: "B********, in spite of my saying it, you don't let the car pass. I'm warning you, I will ask the women of my family to strip you."  

"M********, I told you I am MLA and I also gave my car number. You are running the toll in my area. I will create hell for you." Then he ordered his supporters, "Go break things."

Ironically, supporters of the Shiv Sena held protests across Mumbai after the gang rape of a photojournalist.

Image: TV grab of MLA Anil Kadam at the toll plaza  
16:10   Live! Gang rape: Raj draws flak for raking up migrants issue

MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who is known for targeting north Indian migrants, has sparked a controversy yet again by blaming influx of outsiders for incidents like the recent rape of a photo journalist, with parties accusing him of politicing the issue.        


Congress alleged that the MNS chief was trying to get "cheap political mileage". "I think, he is again trying to politicise the issue to get cheap mileage. How can you say this?...Mumbai police have nabbed one person and others are also likely to be nabbed," Union Minister Rajiv Shukla said.  


Another party leader Sanjay Nirupam said that the statement by Thackeray is "completely uncalled for". "When the city is going through such a painful crisis, there was no need to make any such political statement to hurt communities. Basically criminals are criminals. They don't belong to any community and there are criminals in each and every community. Because of some criminals, you cannot blame the whole community. I condemn this statement," Nirupam said.        


RJD chief Lalu Prasad said that tough action should be taken against the perpetrators of the gangrape incident irrespective of whether outsiders are involved or insiders.

15:24   Live! Vijayamma, 3 TDP leaders on hunger strike shifted to hospital

Four leaders including YSR Congress Honorary President Y Vijayamma, who went on an indefinite hunger strike in Guntur from August 19, opposing the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh were today shifted to a local hospital after their health deteriorated, police said.     


Vijayamma along-with former TDP minister S Aruna, MLC N Raha Kumari and MLA Y Srinivas Rao, who were on hunger strike since last five days, were forcibly taken to the government general hospital in the wee hours.     


The leaders were fasting near the Municipal Corporation guest house to press for their demands for a unified Andhra, when police swooped down on their camps and quickly took them away overcoming resistance from their supporters, in which a woman constable from the Rapid Action Force was injured, they said.

13:47   Why Khurshid is bugged with the PM

Our Correspondent in New Delhi reports: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is upset with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for appointing his blue-eyed boy, former law minister Ashwini Kumar, as his special envoy for Japan.  


For four months, Ashwini Kumar will operate from the PMO: His brief to coordinate Japanese Emperor Akihito's visit to India in November. A letterhead is being designed for Ashwini Kumar with a three lion government emblem; on the right corner, his new designation: Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India.  


Ashwini Kumar's appointment intrudes on the ministry of external affairs's turf, which is why Khurshid is peeved with the PM.  


He is not the only one. Many Congress leaders from Punjab can't understand Dr Manmohan Singh's affection for Ashwini Kumar who resigned a few months ago after the Coalgate controversy.

13:46   United Andhra MPs hide from Sonia

Our Correspondent in New Delhi reports: Why did six Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh flee when they saw party President Sonia Gandhi?   


These Congress MPs had a banner advocating a United Andhra that they didn't want Sonia to see.   


A senior Union minister explained why these MPs fled. The Congress MPs had got contract worth about Rs 10,000 crores (Rs 100 billion) from the National Highway Authority of India to lay roads in central India.  


After getting the contracts, these MPs began defying the party.  

13:45   Antony to the FSB's rescue

Our Correspondent in New Delhi reports: Raksha Mantri A K Antony's arguments to the Union Cabinet  to include the demands by 11 chief ministers for a quantity and price mechanism in the Food Security Bill  -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram were opposed to this -- carried the day.  


Chidambaram categorically said the finance ministry would oppose the 'pricing' part of the demands made by the Tamil Nadu and Kerala chief ministers and no way could this be incorporated in the bill.  


Annoyed, Antony loudly told the Cabinet that the FSB was Congress President Sonia Gandhi's commitment and the Bill was a political do or die issue for the Congress and UPA.  


Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar opposed his old associate Antony and supported Chidambaram at the Cabinet meeting at Parliament House on Thursday. There were six government amendments to the FSB, which were to be cleared by the Cabinet.


Pawar opposed the quantity and price clause as did Ajit Singh and Farooq Abdullah.  Jairam Ramesh hinted that at earlier Cabinet meetings it was decided to have a quantity and not a price clause.  


Visibly angry, Antony began to speak, eventually carrying the day.   


Many Cabinet ministers oppose the Bill as it would add Rs 300,000 LAKH CRORES to government expenditure.

13:43   Modi's Janam Din surprise

Our Correspondent in New Delhi reports: Two days before his 63rd birthday on September 17, The Man Who Wants to be PM So Baad will address the All India Ex Servicemen Association's annual meeting in Rewari, Haryana.  


As many as 25000 ex servicemen will attend the event. Narendra Modi has a birthday surprise for the meeting: A major expose that is expected to send the former faujis in a tizzy.

13:03   Water pipe burst at Marine Lines
A major pipe breakdown at Marine Drive near Chowpatty is causing major problems. The VP Road, and both roads from Chowpatty to Marine Lines have been closed. It has been advised not to go towards Nariman Point due to the water pipe burst.
12:58   Live! Woman constable gang raped by dacoits in Latehar

A woman police constable was allegedly gang raped by a gang of dacoits on National Highway 75 near Jagaldaga in Latehar district, police said on Saturday.   As per the FIR filed by her yesterday, she was gang raped by dacoits when she was going to Garhwa from Ranchi by a car in the wee hours of August 22, Superintendent of Police Michael S Raj said.          


The rape victim, a widow, is a constable with the Latehar district police.The dacoits also looted passengers of different vehicles between midnight and 2 am, police said.  

11:45   Minor girl gang raped by three youths in UP

A minor girl was gangraped in Asmoli area in Uttar Pradesh's Sanbhal allegedly by three youths, police said today. The incident took place on Aug 13 when the 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by Alim, Kayyum and Tabarak of the same village, they said.


The FIR of the incident was registered last night by family members of the victim.   No arrests have so far been made in this connection.

10:57   Live! Witch-hunt can't substitute journalism, cautions PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cautioned against immature and unwise handling of social media phenomena.    While speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a media centre in New Delhi, the prime minister said, "Media is spirit of inquiry, but it must not morph into a campaign of calumny'.  A witch-hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism, he added.
10:29   Live! Congress ahead in LS by-polls in Karnataka

The ruling Congress party candidates were racing ahead of their rival JD-S in Mandya and Bangalore rural Lok Sabha constituencies in the August 21 bypolls as counting of votes was taken up today.     


Congress' candidate actress Ramya was ahead of her opponent C S Puttaraju by over 12,000 votes while her party colleague D K Suresh had established a lead of over 18,000 votes against JDS' Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in the third round, officials said.     


Both Mandya and Bangalore Rural seats were held by JDS in its heartland.    The Congress swept to power in the May Assembly polls and JDS had fought an acrimonious and bitter battle.    


The BJP had backed JDS candidates in the two segments, where bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of N Cheluvarayaswamy (Mandya) and Kumaraswamy (Bangalore Rural) who quit after being elected to the Assembly in May.

09:33   Chemical weapons use in Syria: US reach out to world leaders

The United States has been reaching out to world leaders amidst reports of use of chemical weapons by Syria's Assad regime, with the Pentagon moving military assets, in particular a naval ship, near the country.        


Personally leading the intensification of diplomatic activities, US Secretary of State John Kerry in the last 24 hours not only spoke to the leader of the Syrian Opposition Council, the UN Secretary General, and those from the European Union and the Arab League, but also spoke to his counterparts in Britain, France, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Russia, Germany, UAE, Italy, and Egypt.        


"During all of these calls, the Secretary reiterated the United States' commitment to continue working urgently to gather the facts on the ground and also expressed our concern and outrage over the disturbing reports, photos, and videos we have seen, which shock the conscience and that anyone would see as beyond the pale," a State Department official said on the condition of anonymity.

09:32   Live! Mumbai gang rape: Second accused arrested
Vijay Jadhav, second accused in photojournalist gang rape case, has been arrested in south Mumbai. A massive man hunt is on to nab the other 3 accused.
03:43   Suicide bomber kills 25 at Baghdad park
A suicide bomber killed at least 25 people in Baghdad today while seven died in other attacks, as security forces seek to stem spiralling violence with wide-ranging anti-insurgent operations. 

Diplomats and analysts say the authorities are failing to tackle the root causes of months of heightened unrest, but Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to press on with a campaign against militants, which is among the biggest of its kind since US forces withdrew in December 2011. 

Today's violence struck across the country -- in Baghdad and to its north and south -- with gun and bomb attacks hitting both Shiite and Sunni areas. 

In the deadliest attack, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged belt at a park in a crowded area of north Baghdad on Friday night, killing at least 25 people and wounding at least 36 others.
01:51   Nidal Hasan found guilty in Fort Hood killings
A US Army psychiatrist was convicted today in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.

Maj Nidal Hasan acknowledged carrying out the attack in a crowded waiting room where unarmed troops were making final preparations to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.

Because Hasan never denied his actions, the court-martial was always less about a conviction than it was about ensuring he received the death penalty. From the beginning of the case, the federal government has sought to execute Hasan, believing that any sentence short of a lethal injection would deprive the military and the families of the dead of the justice they have sought for nearly four years. 

A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict in about seven hours. Hasan had no visible reaction as the verdict was read. After the jury and Hasan left the courtroom, some victims who survived the shooting and family members began to cry. 
01:50   Ex-Army Chief V K Singh rules out contesting polls
Former Army Chief General V K Singh has ruled out contesting the forthcoming general elections next year. 

Singh, while refuting media reports about him possibly contesting polls on a BJP ticket from Raibareli, said that the question of contesting under political parties does not arise. 

Singh, who is currently in the US accompanying anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, said that he is working towards putting up a people's candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections.

He dismissed the media reports in a statement given to PTI by his spokesperson, describing them as "wrong and malicious".

Political parties are against the basic spirit of the constitution, he said. 
01:48   Low turnout for pro-Morsi rallies in Egypt
Egypt's military turned out in force as thousands calling for the ousted president's reinstatement held scattered protests across Cairo, but the Muslim Brotherhood failed to bring out huge numbers in a sign that an intense crackdown has dealt a serious blow to the 85-year-old group's support base. 

In a day dubbed the "Friday of Martyrs," Islamists in groups of hundreds chanted against the military and held up posters of deposed leader Mohammed Morsi on side streets and outside neighbourhood mosques. At least one person was killed in clashes in the Delta city of Tanta, but there was no major fighting. 

Thousands marched through the streets of Cairo's Nasr City district, some chanting, "We are willing to sacrifice our lives" and "We promise the martyrs that we will end military rule," in reference to the several hundred people that died in clashes with Egypt's military during raids on street camps this month. One man held aloft a picture of Morsi with the words, "the legitimate president." 
01:48   Colombian rebels suspend peace talks in Havana
Colombia's largest guerrilla army temporarily walked away from peace talks with the government today over President Juan Manuel Santos' refusal to agree to modify the constitution if a peace pact is struck. 

It is the first time either side has broken off negotiations that began last year in Havana, other than for planned recesses. But the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, stopped short of pulling out of the peace process entirely.

The move comes after Santos announced yesterday night that he was asking Congress to consider a bill that would let a public referendum on an eventual peace deal coincide with congressional or presidential elections next year. His proposal for the referendum falls short of the constitutional convention sought by the FARC. 

The government and rebels have long been at odds on the issue, and Santos' decision prompted the rebels to call a time-out to regroup. 

"The FARC has decided to take a pause from the discussion table to focus exclusively on analysing the reach of the government proposal, without detriment to the internal consultation it must perform as an organisation," the rebels said in a statement read to reporters by Jorge Torres Victoria, a high-ranking leader who goes by the nom de guerre Pablo Catatumbo.
01:48   11 killed in sectarian clash in Pakistan
At least 11 people have been killed in a sectarian clash between members of a radical Sunni Muslim group and minority Shiites in Pakistan's Punjab province. 

The clashes took place between Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat (ASWJ) members and the Shias. Things had heated between the rival groups following the death of a person a few days ago. 

An intermittent exchange of fire ensued after members of rival groups confronted each other. The firing killed three people on the spot, while two more died as they were being shifted to a hospital.

One person died while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

As the firing continued well into the evening, bullets claimed the lives of five more people. 

At least one of those killed in firing is understood to be have been a passerby who was caught in the crossfire. 

Six people were also reportedly injured and were being treated at the hospital.

Rangers paramilitary force has been summoned to bring the situation under control. 

Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, a Shia political party, called an emergency press conference and announced a three-day period of mourning for the tragedy. 
01:47   Ban condemns Lebanon bombings, calls for 'restraint'
UN chief Ban Ki-moon today condemned the deadly double car bombing in Lebanon and appealed for restraint in the fractured country split over the war in neighbouring Syria. 

"The secretary-general strongly condemns the two bomb explosions, shortly after Friday prayers, outside two mosques in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli," a UN statement said. 

He went on to call on all Lebanese to "exercise restraint, to remain united, and to support their state institutions, particularly the security forces, in maintaining calm and order in Tripoli and throughout the country, and in preventing the recurrence of such destructive actions." 

"The Secretary-General hopes that those responsible for such cowardly acts of violence will be brought to justice as soon as possible."