Mon, 14 September 2015
Decision to compose music for 'Muhammad' in good faith: Rahman

Timeline  Refresh

23:35   US campus shooting leaves one dead
A university in the southern US state of Mississippi was on lock down today after at least one person was killed in a shooting, Delta State University said. 

The university sent out an alert urging students to "stay inside and away from windows" after an "active shooter" was spotted on campus.
23:34   Pak accuses India of ceasefire violations along LoC
Pakistan army today accused India of firing across the LoC, just two days after the border guards of the two countries agreed to end ceasefire violations and maintain peace by devising new strategies. 

Pakistan army said in a statement that Indian troops violated the Line of Control this evening by resorting to unprovoked shelling and firing in Nakial sector.
22:44   Pak army targets Indian positions in Poonch
Pakistani army targeted Indian military positions along the Line of Control in Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir today, in yet another ceasefire violation. Pakistan army resorted to ceasefire violation in Balakot sector of Poonch from 1845 hours to 1945 hours, a defence spokesman said.
21:50   Bangladesh police step up hunt for fugitive cricketer
Bangladesh police stepped up their hunt today for national cricketer Shahadat Hossain who went into hiding over claims he and his wife beat their 11-year-old maid, an officer said.

The 29-year-old paceman was suspended from all forms of cricket on Sunday as police investigate allegations he "tortured and abused" the maid who is undergoing treatment in hospital. 

A police officer investigating the case said Hossain's mobile phone is now being tracked and officers are hopeful of arresting him soon. 

"We've mobilised ten mobile teams (of officers) to arrest him. We're making raids almost everyday and are now tracking mobile phones," inspector Shafiqur Rahman told AFP. 

A case has been filed against Hossain who could face charges of child repression and employing a minor. 

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) suspended Hossain from all forms of cricket until the case is resolved, effectively ruling him out of next month's two home Tests against Australia.

Hossain, who played 38 Tests and 51 one-day internationals for Bangladesh, missed the recent series against India and South Africa after twisting his ankle in a Test match in May. 
21:49   Decision to compose music for 'Muhammad' in good faith: Rahman
A R Rahman today sought to defuse the controversy surrounding the fatwa issued against him and Iranian director Majid Majidi over their film "Muhammad: Messenger of God", saying he composed the music "in good faith and with no intention to cause offence". 

Mumbai-based Raza Academy had objected to the film and issued a fatwa against the Oscar-winner and Majidi, calling the movie against Islam. 

In a long statement, posted on his Facebook page, Rahman quoted verses from the Quran to explain his point of view and the decision behind boarding Majidi's movie, which is a planned trilogy on the life of Prophet Muhammad. 

"I am not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditionalist and part rationalist. I live in Western and Eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them," Rahman wrote. 

The 48-year-old music composer said he hasn't directed the movie and just did the music but he would not like to talk about his spiritual experiences of working on the film because they are very personal.

Quoting Mr Noori of the Academy, Rahman said, "My decision to compose the music for this film was made in good faith and with no intention of causing offence. In fact, the decision was based on a similar point of view expressed by Mr Noori."

Rahman said what if he "met Allah on the Judgement Day and He questioned him about not doing the movie whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is about kindness, about uplifting the poor and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name."

Read his full statement HERE
21:43   Dengue scare grips Delhi; 2 more die, over 600 fresh cases reported
Dengue scare has gripped the capital with two more patients dying of it and 613 fresh cases reported over the last one week, forcing the Delhi government to cancel leave of doctors, open 'Fever Clinics' to treat those hit, and launch a 24X7 helpline to deal with the situation.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda reviewed the situation and directed the Delhi government to increase bed strength in its hospitals and check overcharging of patients by private hospitals. He said the number of beds in central government run hospitals in Delhi is being increased. 

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, five patients have so far succumbed to complications arising from the vector-borne disease. 

As concerns mounted over rising dengue cases, the municipal corporation came out with fresh data saying 1,041 people tested positive for the disease between September 1 and 12, including 613 cases in the last one week. 

The total number of cases between January 1 and September 12 now stands at 1,872, which is highest for the period in the last five years. Though MCD said five people have died of dengue this year, the figures given by various hospitals put the toll at nine. 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, held a meeting with top officials of Health Department and Rogi Kalyan Samitis which look after work of Delhi Government-run hospitals and issued direction to "do everything possible" to control the situation.
21:26   Vadra asks govt to remove him off no-frisking list at airports
Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, who is in the elite "no frisking" list at the domestic airports, on Monday pressed the government to take his name off the list.

"Plan to visit every terminal in the airports in India and add a white tape on my name from the VVIP list and my signature on top!! So look out," Vadra wrote in his status message on the Facebook.

As of now, Vadra is not frisked at airports if he travels with an SPG protectee. If he is removed from the elite list, he would be subjected to frisking at all airports even if he travels with an SPG protectee. The issue of Vadra's exemption from frisking and checking at airport has been raised many times.

Significantly, government had recently said that there were no plans to remove his name from the list.

"We are not withdrawing Robert Vadra's name from the list. It is not on our radar," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had said.
20:48   Sri Lankan PM arrives on 3-day visit
In his first overseas trip after assuming the top office for the fourth term, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in New Delhi today on a three-day visit during which he will hold extensive talks with the Indian leadership including on the sensitive fishermen issue. 

He was received at the airport by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

He will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday during which both leaders are expected to explore ways to further boost bilateral ties besides discussing the fishermen issue. 

The proposed comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the two countries and the Tamil ethnic issue are likely to figure in the talks. 

Wickremesinghe, who was sworn in as Sri Lanka's prime minister for the fourth time last month following his party's victory in the parliamentary polls, will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
20:44   Mullah Omar died of natural causes, says son
The Afghan Taliban's founder Mullah Omar died of natural causes in his home country, his son has said in an attempt to quash the myriad rumours surrounding the warrior cleric's mysterious death.

The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 and has waged an anti-government insurgency since then, confirmed in July its founder had died. 

It later appointed Mullah Akhtar Mansour as its new head, sparking an internal rift with Omar's family including his son Yakoub. 

Afghan intelligence sources had previously said he died in 2013 in a hospital in the Pakistani metropolis of Karachi, while there had also been rumours he may have been killed by his enemies.

The group itself later admitted covering up his death for two years, saying they had wanted to keep it secret until foreign forces ended their fight against the militants. 

In an audio recording issued Sunday night, and confirmed to AFP by Afghan Taliban sources, Yakoub -- who was initially reported to have been in contention to lead the group himself -- said his father had died of a long-term illness in Afghanistan and was suffering from Hepatitis C. 

"I assure you that when he died, he passed away from a natural death. He was not martyred either by elders inside the Emirate nor by enemies outside the Emirate," said Yakoub, thought to be in his late twenties, in his first public statement.
20:42   SP, NCP join hands for Bihar poll
Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party today announced entering into alliance for the coming Bihar assembly elections and claimed they were in talks with some other anti-BJP and anti-Congress regional parties. 

The alliance was announced at a joint press meet by SP Secretary General Kiranmoy Nanda and NCP General Secretary Tariq Anwar in Patna. Both SP and NCP have walked out of the secular alliance in Bihar alleging humiliation in distribution of seats to them and joined hands for a third alternative in the crucial polls.

Nanda and Anwar, who were accompanied by SP Bihar chief Ramchandra Singh Yadav, said 8-10 regional parties opposed to BJP and Congress were in touch with them to be part of the grouping to give a tough fight to the two alliances in all 243 seats in the poll. 

While Anwar voiced a strict no to AIMIM of Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi, the two leaders were not very categorical about Janadhikar Morcha of Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav. 

Asked about chances of tie-up with Left parties, Anwar said there was no response from them. 

The Left parties have formed their own front for the polls comprising of six parties -- CPI, CPI-ML, CPM, SUCI, RSP and Forward Bloc. 
20:05   Nearly half of India rain-deficient: IMD
Close to half the country is experiencing deficient rains and the shorage for the figure has gone up to 16 per cent.

As of today, 44 per cent of the country has received "deficient" rainfall and 50 per cent has witnessed "normal," Indian Meteorological Department said, adding that only six per cent of the country has recorded "excess" rainfall.

The deficiency is particularly increasing in eastern and western Uttar Pradesh where it stands at around 42 and 44 per cent respectively. Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh have recorded deficiency of 40 per cent and Punjab 41 per cent, according to IMD.

Fresh spell of rains last week in parts of central India and southern peninsual has brought down the deficiency in several parts, it says. 

The deficiency in North Interior Karnataka has gone down to 25 per cent and 22 per cent in Telangana. Similar is the case with Maratwhada (-44 per cent), central Maharahtra (-38 per cent) and Konkan and Goa (-34 per cent). 
19:58   Saudi diplomat case: Cops send report to state Home Dept
Haryana Police has forwarded a detailed report to the state's home department on the alleged confinement and rape of two Nepalese women by a Saudi Arabian diplomat in his flat in Gurgaon. 

The report, which was earlier e-mailed to the external affairs ministry by the Gurgaon Police on September 9, has also been sent by the state Director General of Police to Additional Chief Secretary (Home), official sources said today.

The report contains details pertaining to the case including complaints of the victims, the sources said. 

The report has also mentioned about the police investigation team's visit to the flat of the diplomat on the complaint filed by a NGO. 

The Nepalese embassy's letter to Gurgaon Police Commissioner urging him to take steps to rescue and repatriate its two nationals, also finds mention in the report.

Earlier, the Saudi Embassy had termed the allegations as "false" and said it has protested police "intrusion" into a diplomat's house against "all diplomatic conventions". 

The two Nepalese women have alleged that they were confined and raped by the diplomat and his "guests" repeatedly in a flat in Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital after which the local police filed an FIR in the matter. 
19:56   SC extends stay on Maran's arrest in telephone exchange case
The Supreme Court today extended the stay on a Madras High Court order cancelling the bail of former Telecom Minister and DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran in the alleged telephone exchange case.

A bench of justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan also granted two weeks to Maran to file a rejoinder to CBI's reply. 

The Apex court on August 12 had sought CBI's response on Maran's plea challenging the High Court order and questioned its decision to arrest him in a case registered in 2013. 

Maran had moved the Apex court challenging the Madras high court's decision to cancel his bail and asking him to surrender in a case. 

The high court had on August 10 cancelled Maran's interim anticipatory bail and directed him to surrender before CBI in three days, holding that "prima facie" Maran had "misused" his office by obtaining phone connections illegally and the charges against him were backed by material. 

It had also rejected Maran's contention that CBI was seeking cancellation of his interim bail only to humiliate him.
19:54   Germany 'at limit' as migrant surge hits record
German police were carrying out checks on the Austrian border today following Berlin's stunning decision to reintroduce passport controls, as a new record migrant surge into Hungary raised the stakes ahead of crunch EU talks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's dramatic reinstatement of checks on Germany's frontiers marked a new phase in the continent's migrant crisis and struck at the heart of the EU's cherished Schengen agreement, which allows border-free travel throughout most of the bloc.

"Europe's inaction in the refugee crisis had driven Germany... to the limit of its capacity," her deputy Sigmar Gabriel told the Tagesspiegel daily. 

Underscoring the scale of the challenge, Hungarian authorities said Monday they had registered a record 5,809 migrants streaming into the country the day before, amid reports that neighbouring Serbia might try to "push through" as many as 30,000 people before draconian new laws come into force.
19:53   Pakistan players won't play Hockey India League
Hockey India president Narinder Batra today ruled out Pakistani players participation in future editions of Hockey India League, saying they will not be considered until they apologise for their "unacceptable behaviour" during last year's Champions Trophy. 

Still awaiting an apology from Pakistan over its players' behaviour in the Champions Trophy, Batra, who is also the chairman of HIL, today said he would love to have players from the neighbouring country in the franchise-based league but not with the kind of conduct they displayed in Bhubaneswar last year.

"I would love to have Pakistan players but not with the kind of behaviour they displayed in the Champions Trophy," Batra said.

"And they have shown no regret of that incident in writing or otherwise. I don't want to politicise the issue but that kind of behaviour was unacceptable. Least we need is an apology from them," he added.

Two players were handed a one-game ban and reprimanded by the International Hockey Federation after the Pakistan team went on a rampage post their semi-final win against India in Bhubaneswar in December last year. Showing obscene gestures to the crowd, some players also took off their shirts in celebration. Batra insists that India have received no act of regret from Pakistan for the unfortunate incident.

19:05   Sena writes to PM for Bharat Ratna for Savarkar
Just in: BJP ally Shiv Sena writes a letter to PM Narendra Modi demanding the Bharat Ratna be conferred on Veer Savarkar.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent on Monday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has called Savarkar a "staunch supporter for a Hindu India" and has requested Modi to undo the "injustice" done to his legacy by conferring a Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, on him.

"The nation wants that the Bharat Ratna ceremony be held at the historic Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands," the letter to Modi sent by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said. Savarkar was jailed by the British at the Cellular Jail, a sentence then known as Kaala Pani.

"Dear Prime Minister, the previous governments deliberately mocked the legacy of Savarkar, who was a supporter of a Hindu India and so persecuted for the same reason," the letter says, hoping Modi, who Raut describes as "a leader who considers Hindutva as Indianness", would heed to his appeal.
17:46   Malcolm Turnbull is Austraila's new PM, Abbott voted out
Just in: Australia PM Tony Abbott unseated by rival Malcolm Turnbull. In effect, PM Narendra Modi's next selfie in Australia will be with Mr Turnbull.Tony Abott has been cut down in his first term. Turnbull beat Tony 54-44 in a leadership vote, party whips announce.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott lost the leadership ballot by members of his party, who voted 54 to 44 to replace him with former Liberal Party leader and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull had called for a leadership ballot earlier Monday amid flagging opinion polls for the 2-year-old conservative coalition government.

The change in leadership continues an extraordinarily volatile period in Australian politics. Turnbull becomes Australias fourth Prime Minister in just over two years.
17:11   Gujarat best state to do business
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat has ranked at the top of an assessment of state implementation of business reforms sponsored by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). In other words, Gujarat tops in the ease of doing business ranking.

Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are the remaining states in the top five.While poll-bound Bihar placed 21st, Arunachal Pradesh came last with a rank of 32.
ICPA had carried out the "secret ballot" exercise across four regions -- North, East, West and South -- between August 31 and September 9 to seek its members' opinion on a whether it should call a strike following the Labour Ministry's notification on exclusion of flight commanders from the workmen category.

Earlier in 2012, the now derecognised Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which is the wide-body pilots union, had stopped work for 58 days against the Air India management's move to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines in the merged entity on Boeing-787 Dreamliners.

As the pilots had refused to budge, the Air India management sacked all 13 IPG core committee members, besides withdrawing its recognition. The IPG remains derecognised till date. Air India and Indian Airlines merged into a single entity in 2007.

"The role of the pilot in command at Air India is of a managerial and administrative nature and so may not fall under the definition of workmen," the Labour Ministry notification had said, thereby barring commanders working with the airline from being part of any union and taking part in any strike.
16:52   Air India pilots may go on strike in two days
National carrier Air India is staring at yet another industrial unrest with a majority members of one of its pilots' unions favouring a strike against a Labour Ministry notification on exclusion of flight commanders from the workmen category.

According to sources, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) is likely to serve a strike notice to the Air India management in the next two days. "We would like to inform you (ICPA members) that we are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support shown by our members by participating in the secret ballot and all the four regions have voted in favour of strike," ICPA general secretary Praveen K Keerthi said in a communication to its members.

The Association represents around 670 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines, most of whom is deployed on carrier's narrow-body fleet.
Gujarat tops ease of doing business index, says a World Bank report.
16:18   HC stays ban on meat sale in Mumbai
The Bombay High Court today stayed the controversial ban on sale of meat in Mumbai on September 17 in connection with the Jain community's fasting season Paryushan, asking why the restriction is only on mutton and chicken and not on fish and eggs.

"If it is a question of practice of non-violence by the Jain community, then why only mutton and chicken have been included in the ban and not fish and eggs?" the court asked about the ban, an issue which has kicked up a political storm with questions being raised on intrusion into eating habits of people.
16:03   The Hero of the Battle of Dograi
Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Hayde was awarded the Mahavir Chakra, the second highest honour in war-time, for winning one of the toughest battles ever fought by the Indian Army.

In a brilliant, but gruesome assault, what he and his men achieved that September 50 years ago, had never been seen before.

Archana Masih/ salutes the maverick soldier's soldier. Read
15:50   Indian scientists decode Tulsi plant genome
Indian scientists have deciphered the entire genetic make-up of Tulsi, a herb widely used for therapeutic purposes. The genome map will help in making new medicines using the plant.

A multi-institutional team led by Sowdhamini Ramanathan from the National Centre of Biological Science, Bengaluru revisited the age-old knowledge of the plant and its medicinal effects in their laboratories.

The plant synthesises a wide range of bioactive compounds, known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-pyretic and anti-cancer properties.These compounds are metabolites, compounds that are a by-product of plant metabolism, typically used for plant self-defence. These metabolites are very poorly understood because of lack of genomic information.
Saudi Arabia has 100,000 air-conditioned tents that can house 3 million people sitting empty, yet has taken zero refugees.  Read
15:37   Have you seen her?
Four-year-old Santoshi has been missing since July 26, 2015. A Ganesh Nadar/ meets a family, desperately searching for their daughter. The first of our national series on Missing Children.  Read
15:24   Hitler's stormtroopers 'felt invincible because of crystal meth-style drug
Hitler's armies carried out their 'Blitzkrieg' invasions of Poland and France while high on a version of crystal meth which kept them wide awake, feeling euphoric and invincible, says a new book about the Nazis' use of drugs during the Second World War. Read more
14:57   Porn star Mia Khalifa to be part of Bigg Boss 9?
It's like Sunny Leone's story is being played out all over again; only, with different characters! Taking Sunny's place in this scenario is Lebanese-American adult star, Mia Khalifa. Believe it or now, the makers of Bigg Boss 9 have already approached the porn star to appear on the reality show this year!

According to, a source has revealed, "The channel has approached a lot of people this time. Mia also is one of them. Talks are on with her and she too has shown interest." Has she already given a nod? "The modalities need to be worked out first," the source adds. Read more
14:56   All violence is male-generated: Maneka Gandhi
Courting controversy, union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said that the role of men in gender sensitisation was critical since "all the violence is male-generated".

The role of men in gender sensitisation was the most critical since "all the violence is male-generated. We have introduced (the concept of) 'Gender Champions' in schools, under which boys who have been respectful and helpful to girls will be rewarded", the minister said in reply to a question while interacting live with users on Facebook, as part of the ministry's '#100Women' initiative launched in July.

Under the initiative, the ministry has collaborated with the social media platform, Facebook, to identify 100 women across the country who made a difference to their communities.

During the time she spent on live chat in the digital space, Gandhi was asked many questions on children's education, health and safety, crimes against women and other political issues, though she answered only some questions.

As for the alleged rape of two Nepalese maids by a Saudi diplomat in Gurgaon in Haryana, Gandhi said the case was an "eye-opener" and added that the central government would see what safeguards could be put in place to prevent such incidents in future.

On the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the minister said, "We get periodic reports from the states and work with the National Commission for Women and the police."

The ministry was also setting up 'One Stop Centres' called 'Sakhi', which would play an active role in helping women in trouble, she added. 
Latest IMD report shows drought is getting worse.
Three dead bodies recovered from Pattan, Baramulla (J&K) with bullet marks. Police investigating the matter, bodies yet to be identified. 
14:23   12 convicted in Mumbai train blasts to be sentenced today
A special MCOCA court on Monday is expected to pronounce quantum of sentence to the convicted 12 of the 13 accused for their involvement in the July 11, 2006 Mumbai suburban train bombings in which 188 people were killed.

Those held guilty in the case by Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court judge Yatin D Shinde include Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38).

Only one accused, Abdul Wahid Shaikh (34), was acquitted by the court.

Twelve people were convicted on Friday by a special court in Mumbai in the 7/11 serial bombings that ripped through Mumbai trains.

The convicts were allegedly linked to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The accused were found guilty of charges under IPC, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Indian Railway Act and those under MCOCA.

The trial in the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts case was concluded on August 19 last year, eight years after the attack in which seven RDX bombs kept in Mumbai local trains went off in a span of few minutes.

The seven RDX laden bombs went off in trains at Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Mira Road stations spanning Mumbai and Thane districts.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad had claimed that the suspects belong to Pakistan's ISI, Lashkar-e-Toiba and the banned SIMI.

14:16   Konkona, Ranvir announce separation
Bollywood actress Konkona Sensharma and actor husband Ranvir Shorey have decided to mutually part ways after five years of marriage. The couple, who are parents to four-year-old son Haroon, took to their respective Twitter accounts to announce their split that follows prolonged speculation surrounding the state of their marriage.

"Ranvir and I have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son. Will appreciate your support. Thank you," Konkona, 35, posted on twitter.

Ranvir's statement read, "Konkona and I have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son. Will appreciate your support. Thank you."

Konkona and Ranvir, 43, started dating in 2007. The couple got married in 2010 in a private ceremony. They have starred together in films like "Traffic Signal", "Mixed Doubles", "Aaja Nachle" and "Gour Hari Daastan."
14:14   Dengue menace: Govt hospitals asked to open Fever Clinics
Amid rising cases of dengue, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today ordered all government hospitals to open 'Fever Clinics' at their premises to detect the disease at the primary level and asked top health and administrative officers to take preventive steps.

Jain stressed that people should get admitted to hospital only after consulting a doctor and not out of panic. In a today's meeting with district magistrates, all chief district medical officers (CDMOs) and regional health directors along with heath secretary and director general of health services, the minister said the priority was to ensure that there is no panic about dengue in the capital.
14:12   No thought for food
Can one person's religious freedom interfere with another's food preferences? And what if the freedom of one religious group is in conflict with that of another? The ban imposed in some States on the sale of meat during the Jain community's annual fasting period of Paryushan is problematic for more than one reason, and militates against the food preferences of a majority of the people in the States concerned. Read more
14:08   Gujarat riots case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves SC, seeks to make Amit Shah a party to his petition
Dismissed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt moved Supreme Court seeking to make BJP president Amit Shah a party in his pending petition alleging PM Narendra Modi's role in Gujarat riots as well as foisting false cases against him. Read more
14:03   Who gets what in Bihar
So, here's what it looks like in Bihar: BJP will contest 160 seats, LJP 40 seats, RLSP 23 seats, HAM 20 seats. Few HAM members to contest on BJP tickets, as well.
On differences over seat sharing in Bihar, if any, Amit Shah said, "There is no tug of war in NDA over seat sharing. The issue of chief ministership to be decided by NDA MLAs after polls."
13:43   Nitish considers himself as Bihar, but the public doesn't: Amit Shah
The National Democratic Alliance chief, who is PM Narendra Modi, will decide on deputy CM and CM for Bihar elections, said BJP chief Amit Shah. He further added that the PM will be the chief campaigner in the state.

When questioned on Manjhi, he said it was up to him to decide if he wants to contest the polls.

Once again taking a dig at Nitish, Shah said, "Nitish considers himself as Bihar, but Bihar's public doesn't believe so."

"We believe in 'Sabka sath sabka vikaas'. We are committed to Bihar's development," he added.
13:34   Bihar polls: BJP to contest 160 seats, Manjhi gets 20
Of the total 243 seats in Bihar, the BJP will contest 160,  Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party will fight in 40. The RLSP will contest 23 and Manjhi's HAM in 20, says BJP President Amit Shah.   
13:30   Since BJP has exited Bihar govt, state has seen jungle rule: Amit Shah
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Bharatiya Janata Party  President Amit Shah today reached a deal over seat-sharing for the Bihar Assembly polls. Making a formal announcement,

Shah said, "The BJP and our three alliance partners discussed seat sharing and decided on it today."

The BJP is allying with Hindustani Awam Morcha headed by Manjhi, Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party.

Taking a dig at the rival Janata Dal-United, he said, "The alliance under Nitish Kumar is promising corruption free Bihar when they are responsible for corruption, jungle raj. The statistics of development that Nitish is giving is from the time when BJP was with him. Ever since the BJP has exited the Bihar government, the state has seen jungle rule," he said  
13:13   SC to reconsider ban on chief ministers' photos in govt ads
The Supreme Court today decided to examine its own decision of barring photographs of chief ministers on government ads.

The top court issued a notice to Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the NGO on whose petition it had ruled that only the photos of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India could be used in government ads.

The Supreme Court is set to take up the case on October 1, reports NDTV.

Four states -- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam -- want the top court to reconsider its decision, and allow them to use photos of the chief minister on government ads.
13:10   Lord Vishnu ad row: SC stays criminal proceedings against Dhoni
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed criminal proceedings against cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly 'denigrating' a Hindu god by posing as Lord Vishnu on the cover page of a magazine.

The apex court also issued notice to social activist Jayakumar Hiremath, who had filed the case against Dhoni. The complainant had alleged that the cricketer had outraged religious sentiments.

The apex court, which posted the matter for hearing on October 1, directed the complainant to file his response before that. Dhoni had earlier approached the apex court seeking quashing of a criminal case against him in the Karnataka high court for allegedly outraging religious sentiments for his portrayal of Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover.

The high court, however, refused to quash the case, prompting Dhoni to file an appeal in the apex court.
12:58   Wholesale prices plunge 4.95 pc in August
Wholesale prices fell for the tenth straight month in August, tumbling an annual 4.95 per cent primarily on the back of cooling fuel costs, government data showed.

The wholesale fuel prices tumbled 16.50 per cent from a year ago, while food prices dropped 1.13 per cent year-on-year. Prices of manufactured goods declined 1.92 per cent on year last month, Reuters reports.

The fall is likely to add pressure on the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates again at its policy review later this month to spur economic growth.

CPI inflation, also expected later today, likely eased to 3.6 per cent in August due to lower fuel prices, from a record low of 3.78 per cent in July, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
12:45   69 detonators, gelatin sticks seized from Jhabua after blast
Two days after an explosion claimed 89 lives in Petlawad town in tribal Jhabua district, the police today recovered 69 detonators and large number of gelatin sticks from the residence of the brother of the main accused in the incident. 

Rajendra Kasawa, the main accused in connection with the incident, is absconding since the explosion occurred on Saturday, a police official said. 

The police have recovered 69 detonators and two batteries from the Mahavir Colony residence of Narendra Kasawa, assistant sub-inspector Virendra Singh Bais said. 

Gelatin sticks too were recovered from the place, but their exact number is not yet known, he said. 

Narendra is also absconding along with his family from Petlawad, Bais said.
12:44   NDA to announce Bihar seat-sharing at 1 pm
The NDA will announce its seat-sharing formula for the Bihar assembly election at 1 pm today at its party headquarters in New Delhi. Briefing the press will be the BJP president Amit Shah, along with other Bihar NDA leaders. 
12:13   Arun Shourie does not have a Twitter account!
We posted a few tweets purportedly from Dr Arun Shourie, the legendary journalist and commentator, on Live! about Maharashtra politics on Saturday. 
Dr Shourie told us this morning that he does not have a Twitter account, that he has never posted anything on Twitter and is not following Maharashtra politics either. 
We have withdrawn those tweets from that Live! transcript and regret any embarrassment caused to Dr Shourie.
12:09   Bombay HC allows meat sale on September 17
Just in: The Bombay high court has stayed ban on the sale of meat on September 17. This means that meat sale will be allowed on Thursday.

Under fire for its decision to ban slaughter and sale of meat in Mumbai for two days during Jain festival 'Paryushan', the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday had told HC that it has decided to withdraw its decision The BMC had informed the court of its decision during the hearing of a petition filed by meat-sellers challenging the four-day ban on meat sales, which included a two-day ban by the state government. 
11:44   SC extends protection from arrest to Dayanidhi Maran in corruption case
The Supreme Court has extended a stay on former union minister Dayanidhi Maran's arrest in a corruption case. It has given him time till October 1 to reply.

Maran had moved the Supreme Court and obtained a stay and sought more time to file response on the government's reply on his petition.

The CBI had sought to arrest Maran in connection with the illegal telephone exchange scam. In August, the court had stayed the Madras high court's order cancelling bail and had given the CBI two weeks to respond to Maran's challenge.
11:33   Bangkok blast: Pakistani, 2 others detained in Malaysia
A Pakistani man is among the three people detained by Malaysian police in connection with Thailand's deadliest bombing at a Brahma temple last month that claimed 20 lives, officials said today.

Three suspects -- a Pakistani man and two Malaysians -- were detained a few days ago, Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told a briefing.

"We are assisting Thai police regarding this probe. We feel these three can assist us in the investigation," he was quoted as saying by The Star.

Khalid, however, said the suspects would not be handed over to the Thai police just yet. "We feel there is no need at present to hand them over to the Thai authorities. We are working together with our Thai counterparts. Let us investigate the matter first," he said.

Thai authorities have arrested two suspects in connection with the twin bombings last month. One of them, Mieraili Yusufu, identified the alleged mastermind as Abdulrahman, also known by the alias Izan.

Izan left Thailand on a Bangladesh-bound flight on August 16, a day before the bombing. Thai police had also sought help from Bangladesh through Interpol to help locate the mastermind behind the country's deadliest bombing at the Erawan Brahma Shrine after investigations indicated that the Chinese man may have fled there.
11:22   After meat ban, Rajasthan cancels Bakr-Id holiday
In the middle of a row over a meat ban for a Jain fasting festival,  a government order in Rajasthan has stirred more controversy.

Days after announcing a meat ban, Rajasthan has ordered schools and colleges to prepare for blood donation camps on September 25, to mark the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, an icon of the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, reports NDTV.  

The day coincides with the Muslim festival of Bakr-Id, which is a holiday. But, the Vasundhara Raje government has instructed colleges not to declare a holiday on the day.
11:16   Bihar polls: BJP, Manjhi finalise seat-sharing deal
Just in: The Bharatiya Janata Party and former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi seal a seat-sharing deal for the Bihar elections. A formal announcement will be made in a press conference to be held at 1 pm.  
10:37   Bihar polls: Manjhi at Amit Shah's residence, adamant on 25 seats for HAM
Just in: Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi reaches Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah's residence in New Delhi to finalise seat-sharing agreement for the upcoming Bihar polls.

Ahead of the meeting Manji, who launched his Hindustani Avam Morcha-secular after a fallout with the Janata Dal-United said, "There is no confusion; everything's sorted. A seat-sharing formula is likely to be announced."

Manjhi is adamant that 25 seats be allotted to the HAM, but the BJP does not want to allot more than 15 seats, according to TV reports.

The five-phase polling for the 243-member assembly begins from October 12 and concludes on November 5.     
09:39   7/11 sentencing today, state may seek death for only 8 convicts
The Special MCOCA court which had convicted 12 persons in connection with the 7/11 blasts on Friday will deliver the quantum of sentence today.

The prosecution may seek death sentence for eight of the 12 convicted in the 2006 blasts in Mumbai that had killed 189 and injured 817, as seven bombs ripped through first-class compartments on seven trains during peak hour commute, reports The Times of India.

The maximum punishment is likely to be sought for all five planters and the "more educated'' convicts including key conspirator Dr Tanveer Ansari, Asif Khan Bashir Khan, a civil engineering diploma holder and Mohammed Ali Shaikh, a Unani medicine seller. Sources tell the TOI that leniency maybe shown for convicts who had slightly lesser role.

Read the full report here
09:26   69 detonators found in godown linked to accused in MP blast
As investigations continue into Saturday's deadly explosion in Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua district that killed over 90 people, the police have recovered 69 detonators from a godown owned by the brother of the accused who is on the run.

Rajendra Kasawa, who the police are looking for, had stocked explosives (nearly 100 gelatine sticks) for his mining business at a shop, adjacent to the restaurant, which triggered off a series of blasts in Petlawad town in Jhabua district, reports NDTV. He reportedly had license to use the explosives but had stored them at the shop illegally. The police have sealed the godwon last evening.

The state government has announced a reward of Rs. one lakh on any information leading to his arrest, according to the report. 
08:56   Your accomplishments make us proud, PM tweets after Sania's US Open win
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congragulated Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis on winning the US Open women's doubles title. "Congratulations @MirzaSania & @mhingis on the phenomenal victory at the @usopen. Your accomplishments make us proud," the prime minister tweeted.

Sania, in her response to the tweet said, "Thank you Sir for your wishes."

Sania won the US Open women's doubles with her Swiss partner Hingis yesterday as the top-seeded Indo-Swiss team outplayed the fourth seed team of Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-3 in the final.

This is Sania's second consecutive Grand Slam title of the season, and fifth overall. Sania's win capped off a memorable US Open for Indians as Leander Paes had won the mixed doubles trophy with Hingis on Friday, in a repeat show of the Wimbledon.
08:45   TV debate on Radhe Maa turns violent, woman slaps 'godman'
Shocking scenes were witnessed on the national television last night when two guests on a live show used expletives, slapped and grappled with each other, leaving the audience aghast and prompting the channel to condemn the incident.

A self-styled godman Om Ji of the Hindu Mahasabha and and woman astrologer Rakhi Bai were seen having sharp exchanges on the TV show 'Aaj Ka Mudda' on IBN 7.

Om Ji was seen engaged in a heated discussion with Rakhi Bai over some controversy related to self-styled god woman Radhe Ma, who is embroiled in a case of alleged domestic violence.

"How can you criticise Radhe Ma, you correct yourself first," Om Ji was heard saying. When Rakhi Bai protested, he said he was talking about another participant on the show Deepa Sharma whom the channel described as 'Dharma Guru' (religious teacher).

He referred to some alleged controversies about the family life of Sharma and criminal cases against her. Sharma, who had looked calm by then, stood up and approached Om Ji from behind and interrupted his harangue by patting on his back.

"Tameez se baat kariye (behave yourself)," she was seen warning the self-styled god man and then slapped him. Om Ji also hurled a slap at her and was seen tightly holding both her hands. "Tu kya maregi?" he said as the two were shown grappling on screen.
08:38   16 dead after lorry overturns in Andhra Pradesh
At least 16 people were killed and several others injured when the lorry they were travelling in tilted on the roadside in east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh today.

The lorry carrying about 35 agricultural labourers tilted at Gandepalli in east Godavari district in the early hours, according to H Arun Kumar, collector, East Godavari district.

The victims had boarded the lorry in neighbouring west Godavari district. The vehicle which was carrying clinker material met with the tragedy after the driver lost control allegedly due to sleepiness, he said. The clinker material fell on the victims and 16 bodies have been taken out so far, he added. The driver was absconding after the incident.

Photograph: @ANI/Twitter