Fri, 16 December 2016
China seizes US naval underwater probe in SCS

Timeline  Refresh

23:29   13 RSS workers found guilty of murder of CPI-M activist
A court in Kerala today found 13 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists guilty in the murder of a local Communist Party of India-Marxist worker here on April 1, 2008.

Additional Sessions Court judge T K Unnimol will pronounce the quantum of sentence tomorrow.

The case relates to the murder of Vishnu at Kaithamukku.

According to the prosecution, the accused armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons attacked Vishnu and killed him. There were totally 16 accused in the case.

While one accused died in 2008, another was acquitted by the court today and one is absconding.

Charges against the accused include that of murder, conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

Representative image.
22:37   China seizes US naval underwater probe in SCS
China has seized an unmanned United States naval underwater testing vehicle in the South China Sea, a US defense official said today.

'It was taken' by China, the official said, adding the craft was seized in international waters about 50 miles (80 km) off Subic Bay.

The 'naval glider' was used to test water salinity and temperatures to help in the mapping of underwater channels, the official said.

While the probe was a US Navy vessel, it was operated by civilians, the official said.

The vessels seizure comes amid continued tensions in the South China Sea. -- AFP

Representative image.
JUST IN: China seizes US naval underwater probe in South China Sea. AFP
22:23   3 held with Rs 1.40 crore in new currency in Mumbai
Mumbai Police has detained three persons for possession of Rs 1 crore 40 lakh in new currency notes near suburban Andheri.

The police said the Income Tax Department has been informed. An enquiry is underway.

Yesterday, a car with Rs 10 crore in new notes was seized in Mumbai's Tilak Nagar area.

Meanwhile in Midnapore, West Bengal, police today seized Rs 8 lakh in Rs 2,000 currency notes near Debra and arrested two men in this connection.

We intercepted Purna Sankar Ganguly's car and seized Rs 8 lakh which were in Rs 2,000 currency notes. He allegedly had exchanged it with Rs 10 lakh demonetised notes, they said.

Ganguly was returning from Debra to Midnapore after exchanging the notes from someone who took Rs 2 lakh as commission.
JUST IN: A Kerala court convict 13 RSS activists in connection with murder of DYFI leader Vishnu in 2008; quantum of punishment to be pronounced tomorrow.-- ANI
21:21   Note ban like 'labour pain'; motive is 'less cash' not cashless: Prasad
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today likened demonetisation woes to 'labour pain', saying its end result would be as 'joyful' as the birth of a baby.

Prasad made the remarks at an event organised by the Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party's IT cell that lay emphasis on how demonetisation was an opportunity for the country's transition towards a cashless economy.

However, Prasad said the government's motive behind demonetisation was 'less cash', not cashless. He criticised the Opposition parties for not allowing the Parliament to function.

"People will face a little problem. But the pain is like the one that a woman in labour undergoes. Eventually one will experience the joy like one does hearing the first cry of a baby," Prasad said.

He asserted that the defunct notes deposited in the banks will be scrutinised and not all of it will be considered 'white'.

He said the amount deposited in the banks will help in investing in strengthening the Indian Army, assisting farmers, small traders, building roads, adding that 'naxals and terrorists' are a troubled lot due to the decision.
Petrol prices hiked by Rs. 2.21 litre, Diesel prices hiked by 1.79 per litre; New prices to be effective from midnight
20:48   Sindhu beats Marin to enter BWF Superseries semifinals
Olympic silver medalists PV Sindhu took revenge of her Rio Games final lost, when she defeated world number 2 Carolina Marin in straight games in her final group B match of the prestigious BWF World Super Series Finals in Dubai on Friday.

Tenth-ranked Sindhu beat Marin 21-17, 21-13 to book her place in the semi-finals, where she will face Sung Ji-hyun of Korea.

Sindhu, who lost her second group match against Sun Yu of China, needed the win against Marin today to progress in the elite event and she achieved it in style. She dismantled her Spanish opponent, who had 5-3 head-to-heads record before the game, in 46 minutes.
20:46   More cash recoveries worth crores on Friday
* I-T department seizes Rs 1.4 cr cash, with Rs 8 lakh in new notes, from a Delhi contractor.  

* Rs 1,04,50,000 recovered in demonetised notes in Kolkata's Mango Lane
20:37   5,700 reserved posts in MHA remains vacant
A Parliamentary panel has expressed serious concern over non-filling of more than 5,700 posts reserved for SCs and STs in the Union Home Ministry and dismissed the suggestion that these posts remained vacant due to non-availability of candidates.

The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes noted that 5,786 backlog posts are yet to be filled in various subordinate and 38 attached offices of the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Out of these vacant posts, approximately 3,000 posts are to be filled up through direct recruitment and 2,500 by promotion.

The Committee "observes with serious concern" that inspite of efforts made by the Ministry and its subordinate and attached offices to fill up vacancies, 225 posts in Assam Rifles, 324 posts in BSF, 1,662 posts in CRPF, 308 posts in CISF, 370 posts in SSB, 175 posts in ITBP, 548 posts in Intelligence Bureau remained vacant.
20:35   Rahul can't see with his 'Italian' glasses: Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah today targeted Rahul Gandhi, saying instead of embarking on roadshows against demonetisation, he should take out "yatras against unemployment, poverty and starvation". 

Addressing BJP's 'Parivartan Rally' here, he also hit out at other opposition parties, including SP, BSP and Trinamool Congress, for "ganging up" against demonetisation and disrupting parliamentary proceedings leading to a virtual washout of the winter session.

"Rahul Baba is undertaking padyatras daily. It will be better if Rahul takes out yatras against unemployment, poverty and starvation," Shah said while targeting the Congress leader who has been aggressively campaigning against demonetisation. 

"He (Rahul) asks what change has come after BJP came to power... He will not be able to see as he has 'Italian chashma' (Italian glasses) on his eyes," Shah said, in an apparent reference to Italian roots of Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi.

The BJP chief likened the unity among opposition parties on the issue of demonetisation to all animals in a jungle climbing the same tree to save their lives from raging floods. 
20:31   India bt Aus in shootout; enter Jr Hockey WC final
India beat Australia 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the 2nd semi finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup.

After full time, the scores were level at 2-2. 

It was Australia who laid down the marker with a goal in the first half and then India dominated the second half, cutting through the Australian defense to score two brilliant counterattacking goals.

Sumit, Harmanpreet, Harjeet, Manpreet found the back of the net in the shootout. Vikas Dahiya was the star performer for the hosts as he made crucial saves in the shootout and allowed Australia to score only two goals.

The hosts will now meet Belgium in the title clash on Sunday. 
19:30   Kharghar play school owner arrested in child assault case
The police in neighbouring Navi Mumbai today arrested the owner of a play school-cum-daycare centre at Kharghar where a child was allegedly beaten up brutally by a caretaker. 

The Bombay High Court had yesterday rejected the application of Priyanka Nikam, owner of Purva Play School, for pre-arrest bail. Following which the police arrested her today.

The caretaker/maid Afsana Sheikh, who allegedly beat up a 10-month-old baby girl, is already arrested. CCVT video clip showing Sheikh beating the girl had gone viral on social media last month. Police have registered a case of attempt to murder as well as relevant offences under the Juvenile Justice Act against Nikam and Sheikh.
19:27   Conflict of interest: SC rejects BCCI's curative plea
The Supreme Court has dismissed the curative petition filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India against the 2015 verdict by which it had struck down the controversial amendment of a rule which permitted cricket board administrators to acquire or hold commercial interest in events like IPL and Champions League.

The BCCI had moved the apex court after its review petition against the January 22, 2015 verdict was rejected on September 29 last year. 

"We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this court in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra & another. Hence, the curative petition is dismissed," a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices J S Khehar and Dipak Misra said. 

The Apex court had dismissed BCCI's plea seeking a review of its verdict in which it had held that the amendment of rule 6.2.4 was the "true villain" of the situation leading to conflict of interest arising in IPL format between an administrator's duty and the commercial interest. 
Political parties are exempted under Income Tax law to deposit old currency notes in their bank accounts: Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa
19:12   Cricket can never be free of corruption: Salman Butt
Tainted former Pakistan captain Salman Butt does not believe cricket can ever be completely free of corruption but has praised the mechanism put into place by the ICC and member boards to safeguard players from corrupt elements in the game.

In an interview, Butt who has tasted his biggest cricketing success this week since his five year ban for spot-fixing expired in September 2015, said corruption could not be eradicated completely from cricket.

"I have been there and I have seen it. Complete elimination is not possible because it requires just one moment of weakness and one wrong decision to destroy yourself with corruption," said Butt. 

"But it is a fact that after the spot fixing scandal involving us in 2010 a lot of deterrents have been put into place to educate the players about anti-corruption measures. I myself have given lectures to teams on this issue from first hand experience. It has made a difference."
19:09   Did Pawar mock SC over BCCI reform?
In tongue-in-cheek remarks, NCP leader Sharad Pawar today said the Supreme Court, which has so far been guiding how to run the country, will now decide how to organise cricket. 

"While I am closely associated with cricket, the matter is in the Supreme court. The Court is now going to decide how cricket will be organised. Till yesterday, they were guiding how to run the country. Now, they are also guiding the sports organisation," he said while addressing the 89th annual general meeting of industry chamber FICCI in New Delhi. 

Pawar, who was also the former president of the International Cricket Council, did not wish to elaborate on the issue, saying "I don't want to say anything about that. I don't want to face contempt of court." 

It may be noted that the apex court has taken a strong view against Board of Control for Cricket in India for not implementing the recommendations of the R M Lodha Committee which had recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up in the troubled BCCI.
19:05   AIIMS patients need to provide Aadhaar for free registration
Soon patients who provide Aadhaar card at AIIMS will have their registration charges waived off, but without it they will have to pay Rs 100. 

Expected to be enforced from January, the move aims at streamlining patients' database which otherwise is getting cluttered as many patients misplace documents and OPD cards, Dr Deepak Agrawal, chairman, computerisation, AIIMS, said. 

At present, a patient has to pay Rs 10 for registration following which an Unique Health Identification (UHID) number is assigned to him/her.

"What happens now is that multiple UHID gets created for a single patient as he misplaces documents and outdoor cards thus cluttering the data," Dr Agrawal said.

"Most likely from next month, registration will become free for patients who provide their Aadhaar number. Those who cannot provide Aadhaar card they will have to pay  of Rs 100 for registration," he said. However, those who cannot pay the hiked registration fee can get it exempted by approaching medical social workers who are already assigned for this task. 
Equality before law has been denied for Muslim women in India in the matter of triple talaq: Kerala High Court.
Cap on cash withdrawal to be reviewed after Dec 30, the last day to deposit old Rs 500/1,000 notes: Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa
18:56   Rahul responds to PM in Goa, says Modi is 'Feku'
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, addressing a rally in Goa, says:

* "Congress wants to eradicate corruption from country; If NDA govt wants to take a step against it, party will give its 100% support."

* "In the last two-and-a-half years, 1 percent rich people have acquired 60 percent of country's money.

* "All cash is not black money & all black money is not cash. Demonetisation has targeted poor, the cash economy of our country."

* "Why didn't Modi arrest people holding black money. Why didn't he bring back Mallya and Lallit Modi"

* "PM Modi's surgical strike on corruption & black money is just a marketing scheme."

* Demonetisation drama isn't a fight against corruption, black money; it's an attack on India's 99% honest people, cash economy, weak people

* Swiss bank has given the complete list of Indians having account their. Why didn't PM release the list? PM Modi is 'Feku'.

* "1% super-rich ppl usurped Rs 8 lakh crore frm India's banks; When they didn't return money,you (Centre) called it non-performing asset."

* "In the last 2.5 years, PM Modi waived off Rs 1,10,000 crore of these people; after demonetisation, he waived off Vijay Mallya's Rs 1200 crore."
Tamil film Visaranai, India's official entry to the 89th Oscars in Foreign Language Film category, drops out of the final race.
18:43   Bharuch officials rescue 41 pilgrims from Narmada in 9-hour operation
All 41 pilgrims aboard a boat that got stuck in the shallow waters near Aliya Bet in Bharuch district about 100 km from Vadodara on Thursday evening were rescued after a nine-hour long operation.

"The boat carrying pilgrims was stuck near Hansot district where the Narmada river meets the Arabian Sea at around 5 pm on Thursday. It was going from Vamleswar to Jageswar (religious places on the way of Narmada Parikrama)," Bharuch District Collector S Sagaale told's A Ganesh Nadar.

"As soon as I got the news I rushed to the spot with our officials. We had rescue boats with us and they set out from both banks of the river. As it was low tide, the tourist boat had got stuck. Also its rotator was damaged."

"As it is the mouth of the river, it is very broad here. Our rescue boats could not get close to the tourist boat after we located it as the water was shallow. We spoke to the passengers and calmed them. We told them that it was safer in the boat and they should stay there till high tide."

"I arranged for food, medical supplies and water for them. High tide started at 11 pm. We had nine boats which approached the passengers. We were able to get them all out by 3 am on December 14."
18:15   India among most generous towards refugees: UNHCR
India is one of the most generous countries for refugees, ensuring safety and employment to the displaced people in the best of her capacity, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

Yasuko Shimizu, the chief of mission for UNHCR in India and the Maldives, who was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2015, said that the country has helped refugees by providing work permits and issuing long term visas.

"India is one of the most generous countries for refugees. The country has given opportunities for such people to go for jobs by providing work permits. Although we give refugee cards to displaced people but the government here issues long term visas for them which is very helpful," Shimizu said.
18:12   Rahul does not have the guts to expose Modi: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said Rahul Gandhi does not have the "guts" to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Congress vice president feared action would be taken against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

"Rahul does not have guts to expose anything against Modi ji. The day he does it, Modi ji will arrest Robert Vadra," he said.

The chief minister was reacting to Rahul's remarks that he wants to present detailed information about "personal corruption" by Modi in the Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.

Two days ago, Kejriwal had dared Gandhi to "expose" PM Modi if he has documents at his disposal, saying Congress and BJP indulge in such "friendly matches" but do not make any disclosure. The AAP supremo also lashed out at the CBI for registering a case on a complaint made by e-wallet company Paytm.
India is one of the most generous countries for refugees, says Yasuko Shimizu, the chief of mission for UNHCR in India & the Maldives
17:19   Woman wields axe in Delhi Metro; CISF official suspended
In a major security breach in the Delhi Metro, a woman managed to carry an axe inside a coach and tried to attack another lady commuter with it. 

The Central Industrial Security Force, which secures the Delhi Metro network, has suspended the on-duty jawan, who allowed the woman to carry the small axe, for alleged dereliction of duty and an inquiry into it has been ordered, official sources said.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening at Sultanpur Metro station. The 65-year-old woman wielded the small axe, a masonry tool, inside the coach after she had a tiff with another lady passenger, they said.

The axe, being carried by the woman, was detected during the X-ray scanning of her bag by the CISF jawan when she entered the Hauz Khas Metro station. He allowed her to carry the axe considering its small size and her pleas that she is a poor labourer and uses such items for minor work. 

The lady, going towards Huda City Centre, got into a quarrel with another woman over seating in the all-women compartment of the train. Enraged after being suggested to take some other seat, she took out the axe but was soon overpowered by other lady passengers, they said.
17:09   Rs 80 crore in new currency seized so far: CBDT chief
Sushil Chandra, chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, who was also at the press conference says:

* "So far, we have seized cash of more than Rs 316 crore, out of which new currency is above Rs 80 crore, jewellery 76 crore, total seizure 393 crore."

* "We have conducted searches and seizures in about 291 cases, carried out surveys in 295 cases."

* "We have also issued around 3000 notices on the basis of deposits in bank accounts."

17:06   50 pc tax on black money disclosure; scheme opens tomorrow
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is addressing a press conference in New Delhi.

He says: 

* "Unaccounted cash can be disclosed under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana that comes with 50% tax and penalty starting from tomorrow till March 31, 2017."

* "We want people to join PM Garib Kalyan Yojana and through this scheme they contribute to welfare of the people."

* "Citizens can email the government to give information on black money. The information can be sent to"

* "Declarations under new black money disclosure scheme to be kept confidential; info not to be used for prosecution."

* Receipt of tax paid on deposits will have to be shown to avail disclosure scheme benefits, including immunity from prosecution."

* Financial Intelligence Unit is analysing and monitoring deposit information.

* Don't want inspector-raj to affect people, the people should understand that all information about their deposits is with the department.
17:02   19 Pakistan mission employees disappeared in five years
At least 19 employees of Pakistan's foreign ministry posted in missions in countries like the US, UK and France have slipped away in the last five years, a media report said on Friday. 

Whether these employees went on to seek asylum, became illegal immigrants or betrayed their country remain unknown to the authorities in Pakistan because none of them maintained any contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after their disappearance, the Express Tribune reported.

These runaway officials were posted in the US, the UK, Canada, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Mexico from where they skipped, and their whereabouts are not yet known to the authorities in Pakistan.

The popular destination remains the US where eight of these staffers disappeared followed by the UK with three, and two each in France and Sweden and one each in Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Mexico.
President gives assent to Taxation Laws Second Amendment Bill, reports news agency PTI
16:46   New design bank note in other denominations to be brought: Govt
The government today said new design bank notes in other denominations will be introduced in due course.

The Diplomatic Missions have written to convey their "appreciation" for the government's recent effort to make economy "more transparent and as a move that will also have a positive impact on FDI," Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

"The bank notes in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 with new design have recently been introduced. New design bank notes in other denomination will be introduced in due course," he said while replying to a question on whether the government proposes to print new currency notes of Rs 20 and Rs 50.

Since the announcement of cancellation of legal tender of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes on November 8, the RBI has introduced new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes in the system.

"RBI and the banks have been advised to step up the supply of cash to the public. The availability of cash and issuance of cash to bank branches and post offices on a daily basis is being constantly monitored and necessary rebalancing is bring done for more efficient allocation of banknotes of requisite denominations between different areas," Meghwal said. 
16:29   PM's address would have left Oppn red-faced in Parliament: BJP
With the Congress upping its ante on the last day of the Winter Session on the government's demonetisation drive, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said the opposition would have been left red-faced had Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his opinion on the issue in Parliament.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said Prime Minister Modi while addressing the party's parliamentary party meeting alleged that the Congress is least bothered about the nation.

"The things the Prime Minister mentioned in the Parliamentary Party meeting, if the opposition would have allowed him to speak in Parliament then Rahul Gandhi and the opposition would have been left red-faced," he said.

"PM Modi spoke on why opposition and the Congress are going against the demonetisation policy," he added.Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying that how the opposition kept talking about black money and demonetisation but never really did anything in this regard.
16:18   The Desk Wants to Know
Times journalists are fearless when they hear statements like "Trump says he's going to sue you' or "You're not allowed in here' or "The mayor denounced your story at his press conference.'What will make them quail are the words: "The desk wants to know" -- "That means a copy editor has found something bewildering, confusing or flat-out wrong in your story. And the copy is going nowhere until the matter is resolved."

This classic served up by the NYT. Do read
15:35   LS passes Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill
The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016, which replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995.

Moving the bill, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot said the number of categories of differently-abled have been increased from seven to 21 so that the Divyangs could get the benefits of various schemes at the Centre and State level.

The bill also seeks to enhance reservation for Divyangs in government jobs from three percent to four percent.

He said there is also a provision for setting up of advisory boards at national and state levels.

The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on Tuesday after a brief discussion.
China protests President Pranab Mukherjee's meeting with the Dalai Lama, warns of disturbance to bilateral ties.
14:54   Extension of Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes: SC asks Centre to decide
The Supreme Court hears and turns down the petition challenging demonetisation and the extension in the use of demonetised Rs 500 currency notes for some more time.

The SC bench transfers the demonetisation matter to a five judge constitution bench and all matters pertaining to various HCs have been stayed. SC leaves it to the Centre to decide on extension of the order on depositing old Rs 500 & 1000 denominations after Dec 30.

The apex court slammed the government for failing to provide the general public with enough cash as people were still facing inconvenience even after over a month since notes were banned.

The government had requested the SC to not pass any interim order on note ban as the move will lead to more cases of black money which the SC bench did not buy, saying when common man was not getting a single note, large amounts of new notes were being recovered throughout the country.

On December 15, the government fully stopped use of Rs 500 notes as it had given some relaxation in their rules. Till Thursday, Rs 500 notes continued to enjoy their legal tender status at select outlets including at LPG centres, petrol pumps, paying for public taxes and school fees with a cap.
Parliament adjourns sine die. 
14:34   He listened, but did not comment, Rahul says of meeting with PM
After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a demand to provide relief for debt-ridden farmers, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the former has accepted that the situation of farmers is critical in the country, but did not commit anything on waiving off their loans.

"Prime Minister accepted that the situation of farmers is critical, But he did not say anything about waiving off their loans, he only heard the matter," said Rahul.

He further added that the farmers are committing suicide all over the country and the removal of import duty on wheat by the government is a devastating blow.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of senior Congress leaders met Prime Minister Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers and to express their apprehension at not being allowed to speak in parliament.

Following this, opposition leaders would call on President Pranab Mukherjee at 12.30 p.m.

These meetings come even as the ruckus continues in parliament over several issues, including demonetisation and corruption.

On Thursday, Azad said, "It is for the first time in history of India that the ruling party is not letting the House to function," he said.

Azad gave a notice in the Rajya Sabha on the "hardships faced by farmers due to demonetisation".

"I have given notice so that the debt of the farmers is forgiven. The BJP is not in the support of the farmers," he said.

Both Houses of Parliament had to be adjourned for the day eventually.

Image: Congress leaders meet President Mukherjee to present a memorandum on the problems faced after demonetisation.
13:58   Cong blames govt for Parl freeze, Oppn blames Cong for disunity
Congress's Mallikarjun Kharge briefs media after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rahul Gandhi among leaders at the meeting with the President.

Kharge says the government failed completely in running the proceedings in the Parliament. "We told the President that we wanted a discussion on demonitization in Parliament on problems faced by farmers, small traders etc. We wanted to discuss the notes ban in parliament, even gave notice but government wasn't interested in it. Due to the government's attitude, the House couldn't function."

Meanwhile, cracks have developed within the Opposition over a Congress delegation meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi separately on Friday. Miffed with the development, several non-Congress opposition parties boycotted the Opposition march to Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Rahul was accompanied by Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Capt Amarinder Singh and Anand Sharma among others.

"Is there any unity in the opposition? Parties move forward according to their convenience," HD Deve Gowda, former PM, said. The CPIM's Sitaram Yechury added, "Humne pehle hi kaha tha president isme karenge bhi kya? Humara maan na tha janta ke paas jayein."
13:37   Karunanidhi undergoes tracheostomy to enable breathing
DMK President M Karunanidhi has undergone Tracheostomy to optimise breathing. He is being treated now, and is stable, says a release from Kauvery Hospital. Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery hospital in Chennai late last night after he complained of difficulty in breathing. The hospital said Karunanidhi was readmitted with breathing difficulty due to throat and lung infection. In a tracheostomy, an incision in the windpipe is made to relieve an obstruction to breathing.
13:13   Indira Gandhi snubbed demonetisation recommendation: PM
A day after facing embarrassment due to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani's outburst against the government's attitude in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attempted to divert the attention of his critics while accusing his predecessor and Congress leader late Indira Gandhi of snubbing the demonetisation recommendation suggested by the Niranjan Nath Wanchoo-led committee.

Sources quoted the Prime Minister as saying, "Indira Gandhi told Y.B. Chavan that don't you want to contest polls? This was Congress plank but they did not implement."

Meanwhile, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari urged all leaders in the Rajya Sabha to introspect on the distinction between dissent, disruption and agitation.

Prime Minister Modi earlier today urged the nation to embrace digital payment methods to ensure that corruption and black money is rooted out of the country.

A delegation of Congress leaders gave a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers.

The Winter Session of Parliament has been a washout with both sides not permitting the other to speak.

While the opposition accused the government of being insensitive to the common man, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dug up Agusta Westland matter to charge the Congress.
13:07   BJP reprimands Cong for taking farmers plight to PM's doorstep
With the Congress highlighting the plight of the farming community and submitting a memorandum in this regard to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the grand old party that has ruled the nation for almost 60 years must introspect its action before putting the onus on others.

BJP's Siddharth Nath Singh said that the Congress has every right to raise the issue of farmers with Prime Minister Modi, but only if they introspect and realise that they themselves could not deliver on their promises made to the farming community.

"There is nothing wrong in democracy, if the opposition wishes to meet the PM and raise the issue. But when you are going to raise an issue, you have been in the government for last 60 years and in those 60 years, what have you delivered to the farmers and particularly when you talk about irrigation facilities," Singh told ANI.

"You must introspect that why after ruling India for 60 years you could not deliver. And if they have realised that they have done a mistake and they could not deliver, they have all the right to raise the issue with the Prime Minister," he added.
SP, BSP to stay away from joint Opp delegation meeting President on demonetisation and Parliament logjam.
12:24   Army Major Anita Kumari found dead, suicide suspected
Army Major Anita Kumari allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself with her personal weapon. Prima facie she shot herself on the intervening night of December 14-15 in Jammu. The officer did not come to the unit and no one was aware about her whereabouts till her neighbours broke the door. Further details are awaited.

Representational image
12:18   What Pakistan's film industry lost in 1971
December 16 marks the 45th anniversary of the secession of the eastern wing of Jinnah's Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. Much has been written about the traumatic events of the time and the political repercussions of the country being cleaved into two. But the loss of East Pakistan was not just devastating on a psychological, economic or political level. In very real terms, it also affected Pakistan culturally and socially. One of the things lost in the discourse is how the events of 1971 affected Pakistan's film industry. Read more
11:54   Dignified protest was abandoned, Hamid Ansari lashes out at MPs
Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Vice President Hamid Ansari spoke in his valedictory remarks at the end of winter session. "I fervently hoped that I would not have to repeat what I said at the conclusion of the the 221st session in December 2013. My hope stands belied. Continuous disruptions characterised the session. The symbolism of dignified protest, so essential for orderly conduct, was abandoned."
11:38   PM Modi urges nation to embrace digital economy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the nation to embrace digital payment methods to ensure that corruption and black money is rooted out of the country.

Briefing the media about Prime Minister Modi's assertion at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party meeting, Union Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Ananth Kumar said, "The Prime Minister appealed to the people of India that digital economy should be a way of life, it will be transparent and effective. The Prime Minister has said today is 'Bangla Vimochan Diwas'. The opposition had not demanded proof then but now it demands proof."

Quoting Prime Minister Modi, Kumar said earlier the government used to commit scams and the opposition used to oppose it, but the incumbent NDA regime has now started a mission to eradicate black money and the opposition is opposing it.
11:36   Sasikala tried to poison Amma, says this Sasikala
Expelled Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) parliamentarian Sasikala Pushpa has said it would be wrong to nominate Sasikala Natrajan as the general secretary since she was expelled by late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa for conspiring against her.

"It would too wrong to nominate Sasikala Natrjan as the general secretary of the party. Because nowhere madam (Jayalalithaa) has mentioned her name. She has not even given her a councilor or an MLA seat. It shows that political life is not fit for her. She was earlier expelled by Amma for conspiring against her and trying to kill her," Pushpa told ANI.

By citing a by-law of the AIADMK, Pushpa said, "There is a rule in Class-30 sub clause-5 that a person being a primary member for five consecutive years can contest the elections. However, if this is implied, then, Sasikala is not fit to be the general secretary."

Pushpa demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Jayalalithaa "since the time she was admitted into the hospital, there was no transparency about the status of her health.""What happened to Jayalalithaa is something everybody is questioning. Even the cadres feel the same," she added.

Sasikala said she has filed a case in the Madras High Court stating that the election of general secretary of the AIDMK be done in a democratic manner.

The AIADMK on Thursday said Sasikala Natarajan, the confidante of Jayalalithaa, will be the party's next general secretary."It is clear that Chinnamma (Sasikala) will be the next general secretary of the party," said AIADMK spokesperson C. Ponnaiyan.
11:27   Rahul meets Modi, hands over loan waiver plea for farmers
Congress VP RahulGandhi, top Cong leaders meet PM Modi and handover a memorandum on farmers' demand, including loan waiver, and the problems they dace due to demonetisation.

On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi represented opposition leaders from as many as 15 parties and accused the PM of personal corruption. "Read my lips," he told reporters at parliament, before claiming that PM Modi is "terrified" by the likelihood of "detailed information about his personal corruption" being shared in parliament.

Pic: The Congress delegation led by Rahul Gandhi hands over a memorandum seeking loan waivers for farmers to the PM
Rajya Sabha adjourns sine die. 
11:17   New army chief soon, says Parrikar
Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said the announcement of the next army chief would be very soon. Parrikar along with three service chiefs paid tributes to the bravehearts who laid down their lives during 1971 India-Pakistan war on the occasion of Vijay Diwas.

"I don't have to stress the importance of the day. It's a day when we achieved a decisive victory and created a new country,' Parrikar said.

On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini, led by General Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka after their defeat in the war.

The end of the war also resulted in subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.Special programmes are also being organised at the headquarters of the Eastern Command at the Fort William in Kolkata to celebrate the day.
11:03   Will Murli Manohar Joshi break his silence on the Modi govt?
Columnist Rajeev Sharma tells us: Veteran BJP leader L K Advani has been restive and has shown signs of late of rocking the Modi government's boat.
Another BJP bigwig of yesteryear and a member of the Margadarshak Mandal, Murali Manohar Joshi, too is likely to break his silence.
Dr Joshi has told his confidantes that he will maintain his cryptic silence about the way the Modi government has been functioning only for the rest of 2016.
Dr Joshi may well break his silence in the first week of next year. 
10:43   Rahul to meet PM in Parliament, demand loan waiver for farmers
Just in: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi to meet PM Modi in Parliament and demand loan waivers for farmers. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi made the explosive claim two days ago that he has information on "personal corruption" of the Prime Minister. The BJP has dismissed it as "the joke of the year" and said Rahul's commedy quotient is growing even as his political quotient falls. The BJP has challenged Rahul to make public the information he claims to have.
1971 war: Pakistani soldiers lay down their weapons to surrender in East Pakistan.
Just in: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Balakot sector of Poonch. 
Dhaka residents cheer a convoy of Indian troops during the 1971 Bangladesh War.
10:05   'My days as a prisoner of war in Pakistan'
December 5, 1971.

Six Gorkha soldiers and I were on a reconnaissance patrol on the western border in Punjab, along the Ravi river, when the Pakistani army launched a sudden attack through that area. We were literally caught between a rock and a hard place as we were initially shelled by Pakistani guns, and later, as they overran the small border pocket, by Indian artillery. Thankfully, neither side hit us, and less than 48 hours later, the active war ended for me and my six men.

My ordeal, however, had just begun.

They say memories of stress and extreme danger remain with us forever. The memories of that time are as fresh in my mind as if it all took place yesterday.

Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) relives his time as a PoW in Pakistan during the 1971 War. Do read

Pic: Then Captain Anil A Athale on his return to India
10:00   PM to address BJP MPs shortly at crucial meet
Senior ministers and the PM at the BJP Parliamentary meet. The PM's speech will be telecast live.

The Winter Session of Parliament is ending today though the chaos continued to reign in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha yesterday following continuous uproar on issues such as demonetisation and Agusta Westland case.

Both treasury and opposition benches traded charges on each other for continuous disruption.

PM Modi will address the meeting shortly. The speech is likely to be on demonetisation, and the Parliament stalemate and he may take on Rahul Gandhi over his allegations of graft. 

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi made the explosive claim two days ago that he has information on "personal corruption" of the Prime Minister. The BJP has dismissed it as "the joke of the year" and said Rahul's commedy quotient is growing even as his political quotient falls. The BJP has challenged Rahul to make public the information he claims to have.
09:50   Last day of winter session of Parliament today
The Winter Session of Parliament is ending today though the chaos continued to reign in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha yesterday following continuous uproar on issues such as demonetisation and Agusta Westland case.

Both treasury and opposition benches traded charges on each other for continuous disruption.

The fate of many important legislative bills are still stuck as they were listed for business but did not come up for discussion even once due to protests and sloganeering.

The standoff between the treasury and opposition benches in both houses severely hit the legislative business of the month-long session.

The Rajya Sabha which took up the discussion on demonetisation on first day of the session could not resume it yesterday following ruckus in the house.

In the Lok Sabha, the members were not allowed to complete their speech on the issue by the agitated opposition.However amidst din, Payment of Wages Amendment bill was introduced in Lok Sabha. Parliament functioning in this session has dropped to a mere 17 per cent.

At the beginning of the session, 19 bills were listed for consideration and passage but only one was passed by Parliament.

Out of the nine bills listed for introduction, only three were introduced.
09:44   PM arrives for BJP Parliamentary meet
PM Modi to address meeting with BJP MPs shortly. The meeting is likely to be on demonetisation, and the Parliament stalemate. 
09:39   On Nirbhaya anniversary, girl looking for job in Delhi raped by cabbie
A 20-year-old-woman who had come to Delhi looking for a job, was allegedly raped by a taxi driver.

Sources said that the woman was waiting for a taxi near AIIMS when a cab driver offered her lift to Noida on Thursday.

Midway, the driver stopped the car at a secluded place near Moti Bagh in South Delhi and allegedly raped her. However, the girl managed to raise an alarm and after she saw a police patrol.

Sensing trouble, the driver fled from the spot, leaving his car behind. The girl was rescued and taken to the nearest police station where where she filed a complaint.

Later in the night, the driver was arrested and remanded in police custody. Preliminary inquiry revealed that the car was bearing a sticker of the Ministry of Home Affairs but the driver not a ministry employee.

Further investigation is on.

Pic: The taxi driver who allegedly raped the girl
09:19   Remembering the martyrs of the 1971 Indo-Pak war
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and and the heads of all three wings of the Indian armed forces pay homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi. The day marks India's military victory over Pakistan in 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The victory resulted in the secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. 
08:31   Obama vows action against Russia for hacks
President Barack Obama on Thursday vowed retaliatory action against Russia for its meddling in the US presidential election.

"I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing," Obama told National Public Radio.

Describing potential countermeasures by the US, the US President said "some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be."

He said he directly confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about a potential US response, and said his counterpart acknowledged his stance.

"Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it," Obama said.
08:05   DMK chief Karunanidhi readmitted to Kauvery hospital in Chennai
DMK leader M Karunanidhi was readmitted to Kauvery hospital in Chennai on Thursday night after he complained of difficulties in breathing.

A medical bulletin issued by the hospital said the 92-year-old leader was suffering from a throat and lung infection. The hospital said his condition is stable and the treatment has begun.

The 92-year-old was rushed to the facility from his Gopalapuram residence at around 11:10 pm, about a week after being discharged from the same hospital.

Karunanidhis son, MK Stalin, daughter Kanimozhi and senior DMK leader TR Balu were among those who visited the hospital.
00:14   Pune jeweller under I-T lens for Rs 60cr deposit post note ban
A prominent Pune-based jeweller is under the scanner of Income Tax department after depositing Rs 60 crore in bank shortly after the demonetisation of high value bills was announced last month, an official said on Thursday.

"The jeweller had deposited Rs 60 crore in bank account after the demonetization exercise was announced on November 8, and when the investigation was done it was found that they (jeweller) were backdating and inflating the sales," said an IT official on a condition of anonymity.

While giving the instance of inflating of sale, he said the jewellery shop was showing the price of diamond at Rs 4 to 5 lakh per carat.

"Post demonetisation, the store was showing the price of diamonds at Rs 4 to Rs 5 lakh per carat and at this price, best diamonds are found in the world and they are generally not found in India," he said.

According to the official, there are other jewellers in the city, who are also under the scrutiny for back dating sales and inflating the sales.-- PTI

Image only for representation.