Fri, 21 October 2016
Hospital blaze reported to us 45 mins later: Odisha fire dept head

Timeline  Refresh

23:26   Hospital blaze reported to us 45 mins later: Odisha fire dept head
In a statement that could increase the trouble for the Sum Hospital authorities further, Director General of Fire Service in Odisha, Binay Kumar Behera today said the fire department was informed about the leaping flames 45 minutes after the incident.

"We were informed about the fire incident about 45 minutes after fire was detected in the dialysis ward of the hospital. Had they called the fire department immediately, the casualty would have been much less," Behera told reporters.

Seeking a special legislation to control fire in medical facilities and high-rise buildings, Behera said his department is not empowered to enforce the laws governing the fire safety measures in high-rise buildings, including hospitals and hotels.

Behera met top officials of the fire department from across the state in the wake of the Monday's fire tragedy at the private hospital in Bhubaneswar, which so far has claimed 25 lives.

The official said fire safety certificate is mandatory for all government and private hospitals. "But due to lack of coordination between the authorities we still do not have a list of how many hospitals in the state are functioning without mandatory fire safety certificate," he added.

Behera said his department had repeatedly informed the appropriate agencies about the violators. "We can only complain but cannot file an FIR until a cognisable offence is made," Behera said, adding his department had filed an FIR in connection with the erring Bhubaneswar hospital.
22:46   Hema Malini did not accept land for dance academy: Govt to HC
The Maharashtra government today told the Bombay high court that actress-turned-politician Hema Malini had turned down allotment of a prime piece of land in the city for a dance academy, months after a Right to Information applicant claimed she had acquired it at a very low rate.

Acting on the government's statement, a bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur disposed of a public interest litigation challenging the allotment of land.

Nothing survives in the PIL in view of the statement made by government pleader Priyabushan Kakade the actress had declined to accept the offer, said the bench, while disposing of the PIL filed by ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar.

However, the judges gave liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh petition if in future it came to his notice that the land had been allotted to the actress.

The petitioner's counsel Sadhana Kumar argued that it had been learnt through the RTI that the land in Amboli area of Andheri had been allotted to Malini at a nominal rate, and since this information was in public domain, the petition should be heard further on merits.

However, the court held that since the cause of action mentioned in the plea did not survive, it was disposing of the PIL.

The PIL said there have been a series of judgements of the HC and the Supreme Court stating that public property cannot be allotted by the state without issuing advertisement inviting applications from the needy people.

It further alleged that the land allotted to the actress for instituting an academy to train students in the Indian classical dance of Bharat Natyam was in violation of the HC orders and norms.
22:42   Medium intensity quake hits Indo-Bangla border
A medium intensity earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale today hit India-Bangladesh border region with its epicenter in Meghalaya.

According to the National Centre for Seismology, the quake occurred at 6:34 PM at a depth of 10 km.

The North east region is known to be a high-seismic zone. PTI PR
21:24   Will give a befitting reply if Pak forces fire again: BSF IG
Border Security Force's Jammu Range Inspector General D K Upadhyay said the Pakistan Rangers were rattled by BSF's befitting response, so they fired again on Friday morning.

"They had started it, they were paid back in their own coin," Upadhyay said.

"They used all sorts of weapons. If they begin again, will give them a reply again they should remember that," the IG said.

Meanwhile, once again resorting to denial, Pakistans Inter Services Public Relations Director General Gen Asim Bajwa said 'Indians resorted to unprovoked firing in Shakargarh sector'.

"Pakistan Rangers befittingly responded. No loss on Pak side. The Indian claim of hitting or killing any Pak soldier/Ranger with firing at anytime today at LOC/ working boundary absolutely false," Gen Bajwa said.
JUST IN: Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has resigned on moral grounds, I have accepted his resignation and sent it to the governor, says Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.
20:40   Odisha health minister quits in wake of hospital fire tragedy
Odisha Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has given his resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the wake of Sum Hospital fire tragedy.

His resignation came hours after the toll in the fire tragedy mounted to 25 and its founder Manoj Nayak was taken on remand by the police.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government 'de-empanelled' the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital from the list of favoured medical facilities which provide free treatment to poor patients in the state.
19:20   BSF kills 7 Pak Rangers, 1 terrorist in 'retaliatory firing'
Seven Pakistani Rangers and one terrorist have been killed in retaliatory firing by the Border Security Force at International Border in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, the force has said.

The firing injured three Pak Rangers.

The BSF firing was in response to ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Hiranagar sector of Kathua in the morning in which one jawan was injured.

More details are awaited.
19:12   Jaya interacting, progressing gradually: Hospital
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa continues to be under treatment and observation for all vital parameters, respiratory support and physiotherapy, says Apollo Hospital, Chennai.

'The chief minister is interacting and progressing gradually,' the director of hospital's medical services said.
19:03   AAP dares ACB to book Vijay Goel for tax evasion
The Aam Aadmi Party today asked the Anti-Corruption Branch to register an first information report against Union Minister Vijay Goel and his son in a case of alleged tax evasion amounting Rs 25 crore.

In its complaint, AAP's Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey said the Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs 'misused' his power to get unlawful waiver from payment of conversion charges on a property owned by his son Siddhant.

AAP's Seemapuri MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam said if the ACB fails to take cognisance of the compliant, then the party will explore legal options to pursue the matter.

"Vijay Goel not only got his property exempted under heritage rules, but to mask the fraudulent activity done with collusion of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, he also got status of 749 other buildings changed in the area.

"The exemption was done on the ground that it is a heritage building and the overall estimated loss to the NDMC due to this comes to around Rs 25 crore," Gautam said.

Pandey said his party is also looking at what action the ACB takes against the Union Minister.

"The ACB is very prompt when it comes to action against the Aam Aadmi Party. We are keen to see what action the agency takes against Goel. In the past, we have given several complaints against BJP leaders in MCD, but there has been no action against a single leader," Pandey said.
JUST IN: The death toll in Bhubaneswar's SUM Hospital fire mishap has risen to 25.

Hospital founder Manoj Nayak has been taken on remand by the police.
18:28   Bird flu scare in Delhi: No threat to humans, says govt
The Delhi government today ruled out any threat to human beings due to the bird flu or avian influenza as the strain of the virus is 'less infective', even as six ducks were found dead in the national capital.

Development Minister Gopal Rai said the H5N8 virus were found in the samples of three birds which had recently died at Delhi zoo, and not the H5N1 virus, which are more 'infective' and 'may affect humans'.

Addressing a press conference, Rai said there is no need to panic as all measures are in place to deal with the any situation.

"The category of H5N8 influenza has been found in the samples of three birds died recently at Delhi zoo. Experts suggested that H5N8 is not harmful for human. This virus has also been found in US, Japan, Netherlands, China and other countries where H5N8 has not affected human," he said.
18:12   Jaitley seeks report on debit card data breach
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that he has sought a report on the misuse of debit cards after a massive data breach compromised over three million cards, adding that the idea is to contain the damage.

"We have now reached a level of maturity in governance which helps us distinguish between an erroneous and a corrupt decision," he said.

The government has asked the Reserve Bank of India and banks to provide details of hacking and also report on banks' preparedness to deal with cyber crimes.

The Maharashtra Police's cyber security cell has reached out to the banks asking for details on the data breach, though the banks have made no formal request for a police investigation yet.

The banks said that they have advised the customers to change the security codes or PINs for their debit cards and have blocked the cards of those they could not contact.

Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das earlier today said the RBI has been asked to investigate the matter, adding that a detailed report has been sought from banks amid fears that millions of debit cards data may have been stolen in one of the country's largest-ever cyber security incidents.

Das further said there was no need to panic over the feared security breach.

Several banks in India are replacing or asking their customers to change security codes of as many as 3.25 million debit cards due to fears that the card data may have been stolen.
17:55   Pahlaj Nihalani extends support to Karan Johar on ADHM controversy
Voicing his support for Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Central Board of Film Certification president Pahlaj Nihalani lashed out at two film industry associations for joining hands with a local political party to create ruckus.

He tweeted, 'Central & State Govt extended best support to #ADHM. Sad two industry associations shook hands with local political party to create ruckus.'

'For the unversed, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena after imposing a ban on Pakistani artistes working in India has also threatened to vandalize the theaters exhibiting ADHM as the movie stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a cameo (sic).'
17:48   NHRC chief objects to arrests over Jaya health rumours
In the wake of apprehending of a few persons in Tamil Nadu for allegedly circulated rumours regarding Chief Minister J Jayalalithaas health status, National Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice H L Dattu today said arrest may not be an answer and there are other avenues for checking rumour-mongering.

"People have the fundamental right to express. And, whether it is (Indian Penal Code Section) 500 or 505, arrest may not be an answer. There are other avenues to check rumour-mongering," he told reporters.

He was addressing a press conference in New Delhi to mark the foundation day of the NHRC which was born in 1993.

Soon after Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration, rumours have been running rife about her health on social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp.

To scotch such rumours, the local police has formed a team comprising private cyber experts to keep a watch on those who spread false information about the health and warned of stern action against those involved in such acts.
17:36   Embraer deal: CBI issues look-out notice against Vipin Khanna
The Central Bureau of Investigation issues a look-out circular against NRI arms dealer Vipin Khanna in Embraer deal case to prevent him from leaving the country.

Earlier, the CBI had registered a case against Khanna and two companies based abroad in a case of alleged kickbacks worth over $5.70 million (Rs 38 crore) in connection with three aircraft deals with Embraer signed in 2008.

It is alleged that the kickbacks were routed from subsidiaries of Embraer to Khanna through Interdev.

'As result of Vipin Khanna's mediation, the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) moved a proposal to purchase EMB 145 aircraft. The purchase agreement was signed on 3/7/2008,' the CBI said.

Also read
17:31   HC notice to Ajit Pawar, party MLC, in irrigation scam
The Bombay high court has issued notices to Maharashtra's former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP MLC from Yavatmal, Sandip Bajoriya, in a PIL alleging irregularities in irrigation projects in the state's Buldhana and Amravati districts.

A Nagpur bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Atul Chandurkar yesterday directed them to reply before November 25, the next date of hearing in the case. 

The petitioner, Atul Jagtap, alleged that contracts for completing the Jigaon and Lower Pedhi projects, in Buldhana and Amravati respectively, were awarded to the MLC's Bajoriya Construction Company at the behest of Pawar during the earlier Congress-NCP rule.

Jagtap filed an application seeking to add Pawar, who was then state irrigation minister, and Bajoriya, as respondents. 

The cost of the Jigaon project rose to Rs 5,700 crore from Rs 394 crore in 15 years. The cost is expected to further cross Rs 7,000 crore by the project's deadline in 2019.
17:28   Pak court orders Imran Khan's arrest
A Pakistani anti-terror court today ordered the police to arrest cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri by November 17 in connection with an attack on the Pakistan Television headquarters during an anti-government protest in 2014. 

The court in Islamabad issued the orders during regular hearing of PTV attack case after the police failed to carry our arrest warrants issued earlier. 

Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi expressed annoyance at the police's failure to implement its orders, according a court official.

The judge also ordered that Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and firebrand cleric and chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik Tahirul Qadri should be arrested and presented in the court by November 17 along with 68 supporters of the two parties who were involved in the attack.

The attack occurred on September 1, 2014, when Khan and Qadri were protesting in Islamabad against alleged poll rigging and demanding the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
17:25   DMK announces candidates for TN bypolls on Nov 19
Two days after the ruling AIADMK named its candidates for the elections to be held in Tamil Nadu on November 19, the DMK today announced its nominees for Thanjavur, Aravakkurichi assembly constituencies, and for the bypoll to the Thiruparankundram seat.

The DMK named K C Palanisamy for Aravakurichi and Anjugam Bhoopathy for Thanjavur assembly seats. They were the party candidates for the May 16 assembly election too. For Thiruparankundram constituency, the DMK named a new candidate, P Saravanan. 

In the assembly elections held in May, the DMK had nominated M Manimaran in Thiruparankundram, who was defeated by 22,992 votes by his AIADMK rival S M Seenivel. Seenivel passed away days after the election results were declared, thus necessitating a bypoll.

Polling in Aravakkurichi and Thiruparankundram constituencies were cancelled by the Election Commission following seizure of huge sums of money, irregularities and allegations of bribing voters and distribution of gifts by parties and candidates.
17:13   Sheena Bora case: Additional chargesheet filed, hearing tomorrow
The CBI on Friday filed its second supplementary chargesheet before a special CBI Court in the Sheena Bora murder case. Hearing is set to begin tomorrow with the accused Indrani Mukherjea, husband Peter Mukherjea and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna facing murder charges for the allegedly killing their daughter Sheena Bora.

CBI cites further proof on Peter's role, says 'Indrani kept Peter informed about disposing Sheena's dead body'.

The court had earlier rejected Peter Mukherjea's plea seeking to defer the hearing for another two weeks as his counsel sought additional time to study the chargesheet.

Rahul Mukherjea, former media baron Peter Mukerjea's son who was in a relationship with Sheena, had also said in his statement that he had last seen her with Indrani, Rai and Khanna when he dropped her near National College in Bandra on the day of the murder.

Indrani's former husband Sanjeev turned approver in the case and blamed her for strangling Sheena, while he restrained her.
17:01   Shivpal Yadav: Ready to write on stamp paper that Akhilesh will be CM
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Yadav tells party office bearers: I am ready to write on stamp paper that Akhilesh Yadav will be the CM. This statement comes after Shivpal Yadav went to Akhilesh Yadav's home yesterday. The two had a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly two hours.

The meeting took place just as Akhilesh Yadav's supporters began to obtain legal opinions about their options available to them if they decide to form a new party or secure complete hold over the existing one by sidelining the old guard.

Amid a raging family feud timed to election season, Mulayam Singh Yadav has already announced that son Akhilesh is the party's presumptive Chief Minister.

The declaration is Mulayam's newest attempt to end a tug-of-war for power between Akhilesh, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and older brother Shivpal Yadav, who is a cabinet minister. So far, he has leaned towards his brother, choosing as recently as last week to remain vague about who his party would pick as its chief ministerial candidate.

Wipro Q2 net dips 7.6 per cent to Rs 2,070 crore.
16:39   Govt charts out plan for Union Budget
The Union Finance Ministry has drawn up a calendar for the Union Budget 2017. The first meeting will be held on November 2 with business and industrial houses and will commence at the CBDT, CBEC level. This series of meetings will end by the time Parliament convenes for the Winter Session on November 26. The Secretaries of Revenue and Expenditure are busy finalising the possible dates of meeetings with Indian Inc leaders, agriculturists, bankers and infrastructure companies. The Union government is keen to present the Budget on February 1, 2017 so that the GST can be rolled out by April 1, 2017.

Riteish Deshmukh ‏@Riteishd  When your Baiko looks like a teenager & you look like her father. @geneliad

16:12   It's a happy Diwali for Subrata Roy, parole extended to Nov 28
Interim parole of Sahara chief Subrata Roy extended till November 28th; Sahara deposited Rs 200 crore today and will deposit Rs 200 crore more by November end.

After spending over two years in jail, Roy has been out since May when his mother passed away. Later the court kept extending his parole on the condition of depositing Rs 500 crore with Sebi for refunding investors by August first week.

The SC last month had given Sahara chief Subrata Roy's interim parole till October 24 and asked him to deposit Rs 200 crore to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) within that period.

15:33   Sheena Bora case: Framing of charges tomorrow
CBI files a supplementary charge-sheet in the Sheena Bora case. The argument on framing of charges to begin tomorrow.
15:27   BJP may slap showcause notice on 'honeytrapped' Varun Gandhi
The BJP is seriously contemplating serving a showcause notice to the party's Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur, Varun Gandhi, seeking an explanation on the media reports that he leaked crucial information about defence matters to arms manufacturers after being blackmailed with pictures of him with foreign escorts.

BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav has prepared a draft of the showcause notice, which is expected to be approved by party president Amit Shah.
Insiders in the BJP are speculating that such a step, though harsh, is exactly what is needed for Varun Gandhi.

The party feels he has been flouting party norms and 'decency' and has been visiting his cousin  Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra. Worse, the party feels, is his frequent meetings with Rahul Gandhi where discussions are often on internal issues of the BJP and the Congress.

Amit Shah is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and consult senior colleagues before issuing the showcause notice to Gandhi.

At a press conference in New Delhi yesterday, Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav released a letter written by Edmonds Allen, a New York-based lawyer, to the PMO last month that Varun was honeytrapped and compromised by arms dealer Abhishek Verma.

He alleged that Verma "blackmailed" Varun, a member of the Defence Consultative Committee, into sharing sensitive information on crucial arms matters.

Varun rejected these charges, saying he has not met Verma since 2004 and threatened to file a defamation suit against Bhushan and Yadav over the charges.

14:50   Mehbooba promises to remove AFSPA, but with a rider
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday asked Pakistan to stop cross-border infiltration to create an environment conducive for peace talks.

"Pakistan has to understand that the two countries share the border and to bring peace in the region, start a dialogue, the infiltration must stop," Mehbooba said addressing a police function in Srinagar.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader said the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would be removed from the Kashmir Valley over a period of time only after militancy stops in the state.

"We have to remove the AFSPA. But we need support for that. We can do it in intervals but the militancy has to stop," she said.

Mehbooba Mufti also came out strongly against stone-pelting protesters in the valley saying it won't resolve the Kashmir issue.
14:37   SC directs Parsvnath to give flat to MoS Rathore in 2 days
The Supreme Court today directed Parsvnath developers to hand over possession of a flat in its Gurgaon project to Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in two days.

A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said "the possession of flat shall be handed over to the respondent in two days" and said Rathore should not pay any more amount to the developer.

The apex court said the issue of compensation to be paid by the realty firm to Rathore for the delayed possession would be dealt with at a later stage of the hearing. During the hearing, counsel appearing for the builder said the flat was ready and they could handover possession. Rathore had booked a flat in Parsvnath's Exotica project in Gurgaon in 2006 and paid around Rs 70 lakh for it. The firm was to deliver the flat in 2008-09.

In January this year, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) had directed the bulider to refund the principal amount with interest and compensation to Rathore.

Earlier, the apex court had rapped real-estate firms for making tall claims to purchasers which remained unfulfilled due to inordinate delay in completing the housing projects. The court had on October 18 directed the SC registry to disburse Rs 12 crore, deposited by real estate firm Parsvnath Buildwell Pvt Ltd, to 70 home buyers on pro-rata basis after proper identification. It had also directed the firm to deposit Rs 10 crore by December 10 with Supreme Court registry. The apex court's observation had come after Parsvnath Buildwell Pvt Ltd had said it would give the flats to 70 home buyers, who are before the court, by December 17.
14:18   Yadav family feud puts 25-year-old SP on the brink of implosion
Speculation is rife about a possible split in the party formed on Ram Manohar Lohia's principle that dissuaded dynastic politics. Ironically, the founder president of the party, who is also the family patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav is so deeply caught in the family mess that he is willing to sacrifice the party that he raised with his sweat and blood since October 1992. So much so that a party that was seen till the other day as one of the front runners in 2017 assembly polls is now gasping to stay in the race. Read more
14:07   Scrap English requirement in schools, RSS tells HRD ministry
The medium of instruction from elementary to higher levels in schools should be the mother tongue. Foreign languages should not be offered as an alternative to any Indian language at the school level. English should no longer be mandatory at any level. All research works must be linked to "national requirements' and projects that do not meet this condition should not get UGC scholarships. References that insult Indian culture, tradition, sects, thoughts, eminent personalities and offer wrong explanations must be removed from textbooks at all levels.

These are some of the recommendations that the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas (SSUN) has made to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the new education policy that is to be formulated soon. Read more
Infiltration bid foiled by Army in Sawjian sector of Poonch district (J&K) along the LoC. One jawan injured. More details awaited.
13:54   Good cop, bad cop?
Former diplomat and strategic affairs advisor KC Singh @ambkcsingh asks, "Does Arnab read his boss's tweets or r the playing good-cop-bad-cop?"

Vineet jain, MD Times of India, had tweeted yesterday in the wake of the MNS threat to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: @vineetjaintimes  By stopping films PREVIOUSLY made with pak artists u hurt Indias moral plank,business&jobs not pak. Don't think emotionally but logically

Senior journalist Senior Shekhar Gupta retweeted KC Singh's tweet with this tart explanation: @ShekharGupta  See it as a brilliant case of editorial freedom: The Times of India works for Aman Ki Aasha, and the Times Now tireless in Jang Ki Cheshta

13:36   Tremendous improvement in Jayas condition, may soon be discharged
Following the tremendous improvement in her condition, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa may soon be discharged from Apollo Hospital in Chennai, where she was admitted on September 22.  

The team of doctors treating her at Apollo expect her condition to improve further by Sunday and thereafter will discharge her.

A highly-placed hospital source in Chennai told that though she is still under respiratory support, the CM is able to sit up on the bed in a reclining position.

The mitral valve infection has been treated effectively and as a result the fluid accumulation in the lungs has been halted.  

To ensure that Jayalalithaa continues her treatment post-discharge, a full-fledged medical facility is being set up at her sprawling bungalow in Neelankarai outside Chennai.

As an alternative, a temporary medical set-up is also being readied at Siruthavur, 15 km from Chennai.

Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala Natarajan's family is considering moving the CM to either of these two locations in order to avoid any media focus.
12:59   BCCI to include DRS for India-England series
The Board of Control for Cricket in India will deploy the Decision Review System on a trial basis in the forthcoming series between India and England starting from the 9th of Nov 2016 to evaluate the improvements made to the system, over a period of time.

In the meeting with the ICC and the Hawkeye officials, the improvements made to the system were further evaluated by the BCCI team, who were satisfied that most of the concerns and suggestions that were expressed by BCCI over a period of time, were addressed to a significant extent.
12:51   Amit Shah meets SP leader in top secret meeting
BJP President Amit Shah's bungalow on Akbar Road had a visitor on Monday -- an extremely  senior Samajwadi Party leader. The top secret meeting was organised by a BJP MP from UP. The Samajwadi Party leader is a'big catch' admits BJP leaders and wants to join the party by mid November, just before the announcement of the UP and Uttarakhand poll dates.

Amit Shah wants Brahmin leaders in Congress to join the BJP like Rita Bahuguna Joshi. After her defection yesterday, there are more district-level Brahmin leaders of the Congress who want a BJP ticket to contest the UP polls.  Shah has a list of these aspirants and during his visits to districts will ensure that each of these Congress leaders will issue a  statement condemning the Congress party, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and the BJP's UP face, Sheela Dikshit.
12:31   The MoS who wept at PM's rebuke
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pulled up a senior Union Minister of State over allegations of misappropriation of funds and bribery. The Intelligence Bureau had provided documentary evidence to the Prime Minister, who lost no time in making his displeasure known to the minister.

It is believed that the said Union Minister began shivering and crying when the PM reprimanded him.  Unmoved, the PM is believed to have warned him that his wife should not interfere in government matters.

As a compromise, the minister agreed to terminate the services of his first personal assistant who is said to be the main conduit between his wife and the chiefs of the public sector undertakings.

Fear and gloom now looms large as news of the minister's takedown spread among not just other ministers, but their wives too. 
12:17   Agartala roads to be repaired for Dipa Karmakar's BMW
Just a week after Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar took the decision to give up her BMW car due to the poor condition of roads in Agartala, the Tripura government has announced that roads will be repaired in Dipa's locality.

"The road near Dipa's house falls among some others that we have selected for repair. Work is expected to begin next month," public works department chief engineer (roads and buildings) Somesh Chandra Das told Hindustan Times.

While appreciating the government's decision, Dipa was quoted by Times of India as saying, "We never spoke of any road or lane with regard to the BMW's use. Along with road space and quality, service and maintenance of the car are also important issues here. We have made up our mind to give up this car."

The car was presented to Dipa by Sachin Tendulkar, on behalf of the Hyderabad Badminton Association, for her historic fourth place finish at this year's Olympics.

Dipa along with Olympic Medallists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were presented with the super cars for their scintillating performances in Rio.

National Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand was also awarded a BMW as a token of appreciation by the association.

But Dipa caused a stir last week when she went public with her decision to return her BMW due to maintenance issues and her father also said they will accept its value from the organisers to buy a vehicle that is locally available.
11:39   Pak Ranger killed in ceasefire violation in Hiranagar, J-K
Just in: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir's Hiranagar sector, one BSF soldier injured. One Pakistan Ranger has been killed in retaliatory fire at the Bobiya post. 

This is the second ceasefire violation by Pakistan in less than 24 hours. Early on Thursday morning, Pakistan  resorted to ceasefire violation in Bhimer Gali (BG) sector of Rajouri and in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district.

According to ANI reports, Pakistani forces fired around 25 rounds of small weapons and 2 small mortars in Hiranagar sector.

"Detail checking revealed that it (firing at IB in Kathua) was an attempted forced infiltration bid by a group of 6 terrorists, foiled," said a BSF official.

The Indian troops retaliated to the ceasefire violations. There has been no reports of any casualty or damage yet.

Yesterday, Pakistan has also summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad over the killing of the civilian in India's "unprovoked ceasefire violation" across the LoC and sought an immediate probe.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that 28-year-old villager Abdul Rehman was killed in "unprovoked firing by India in Karela sector of the Line of Control (LoC)" late last night.

Defence spokesman, lieutenant colonel, Manish Mehta told IANS, "The troops violated bilateral ceasefire in Bhimber Ghali (BG) sector of the LoC. They used mortars to target our positions." The shelling stopped at 3.30 am, however small arms and automatic gunfire exchanges continued, Mehta added.

This is the 17th ceasefire violation by Pakistan since the Uri attack.

Image: An Indian border post near the fencing on the Line of Control in Balakot Sector in Poonch. Pic: PTI
11:11   SC curbs BCCI's financial powers
JUST IN: Cricket board BCCI shouldn't release funds until state associations commit to Lodha panel reforms, says Supreme Court. The state cricket associations can't get any money from BCCI till the time they follow Lodha committee recommendations. The Lodha panel will appoint independent auditors to screen contracts.

The Supreme Court asks BCCI president Anurag Thakur to give an undertaking to comply with the Lodha Panel recommendations and court orders.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday had deferred its hearing by two weeks on a petition filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India seeking a review of its July 18 verdict directing it to implement the recommendations of Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha panel on massive structural reforms in the BCCI.

The BCCI, in its review petition, has also sought recusal of Chief Justice T S Thakur from hearing the matter, alleging he has "a prejudiced approach" against it.The court decided to pass an order on the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations on Friday after the BCCI counsel declined to give an unconditional undertaking that it will seek instructions to stop funds to state bodies and abide by the committee's recommendations.

The BCCI faced the wrath of the apex court for its defiant attitude in implementing the directions of the Lodha committee to reform cricket in the country.

The court also rebuked the cricket body for hurriedly disbursing around Rs 400 crore to state bodies. A bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said that BCCI's defiant attitude will not lead anywhere. It further emphasised that transparency, fairness, and objectivity were most important aspects in all decisions including disbursal of funds by BCCI.
10:47   Indias press is more craven than Pakistans
There is no question that India's democracy is stronger than Pakistan's. It is less prone to coups and violence. Its minorities are more secure. And, most Indians assume, their media are freer.

When Cyril Almeida, a Pakistani journalist, revealed earlier this month that he had been banned from travelling abroad after writing a story that embarrassed Pakistan's security forces, India's tabloid press gloated.

The Schadenfreude proved short-lived. To general surprise, Mr Almeida's colleagues rallied in noisy support. Pakistani newspapers, rights groups, journalists' clubs and social media chorused outrage at his persecution. The pressure worked; the ban got lifted. 

Read more
10:37   The anger that Trump articulates will haunt America
With pollsters and punters suggesting that there is now a 90 per cent chance that Hillary Clinton will be the winner on November 8, the element of suspense associated with any election appears to have gone out of the United States of America's presidential contest.

While the modern-day soothsayers have been known to have got their calculations wrong in the past, it is unlikely that anything short of either divine intervention or a monumental self-goal by his opponent can help Donald Trump secure the White House.

Read Swapan Dasgupta's piece for the Telegraph.
10:34   Silence, surgery in progress
What is the function of "surgical' in surgical strike? Because, as every true-blooded patriot knows, a surgical strike is, of course, good, but it is also fundamentally different from, say, a "cross-border raid', let alone "infiltration". Those are things that the baddies do. We, on the other hand, do surgical strikes. Part of the appeal of a "surgical strike' -- the phrase derives, of course, from US military jargon, where it serves similar, but not identical purposes -- is that it implies "precision'. Read more
10:30   Aamir avoids query on Pak film ban at MAMI, 'Ae Dil...' row
Superstar Aamir Khan chose to stay mum on the issue of Pakistani film not being screened at the ongoing MAMI festival in Mumbai and the threats over the release of Karan Johar's "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil".

During the opening ceremony of the 18th Jio MAMI festival here yesterday, Aamir was asked to give his opinion on the opposition to screening of Pakistani film and the "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" controversy, the actor said, "MAMI se poocho", before walking off.

Following the Uri terror attack, the MNS has threatened not to allow screening of Johar's film which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Aamir had earlier got embroiled in a controversy over his remarks on intolerance.
10:15   CBI files FIR in $208 mn Embraer aircraft deal signed during UPA rule
The CBI has registered an FIR against a UK-based arms dealer for allegedly taking kickbacks worth over USD 5.70 million from Brazilian company

Embraer in the 2008 three-aircraft deal. CBI sources said a case has been registered against a UK based NRI whose named had also figured in another defence deal probed by the agency.

They said the kickbacks were allegedly paid in 2009 through subsidiaries of Embraer via a Singapore based company which is owned by the middleman. It is alleged that payoffs were routed through Austria and Switzerland.

They said the agency, which had registered a preliminary enquiry in September, has converted it into a regular FIR as enough prima facie material has been found by it to proceed in the case. 

The deal for three aircraft which were to be used by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for air-borne radar systems was inked in 2008 with Embraer. 

A Brazilian newspaper had alleged that that the company had taken the services of middlemen to clinch deals in Saudi Arabia and India. According to defence procurement rules of India, middlemen are strictly barred in such deals.

Leading Brazilian newspaper 'Folha de Sao Paulo' had reported that the company allegedly paid commissions to a UK-based defence agent to finalise the deal with India. DRDO had purchased three aircraft from the company in 2008 and customized them for serving are air-borne radar system known as airborne early-warning and control systems or AWACS for the Indian Air Force.

The company has been under investigation by the US Justice Department since 2010 when a contract with the Dominican Republic raised the Americans' suspicions, the report said. Since then, the investigation has widened to examine business dealings with eight more countries.

After the PE was registered, Embraer had issued a statement saying, "Since 2011, Embraer has publicly reported that it has been conducting an extensive internal investigation and cooperating with the authorities on investigations regarding alleged violations of the FCPA.

"The company voluntarily expanded the scope of the investigation, systematically reporting the progress of the case to the market. " "The company is not party of the legal proceedings in Brazil. Therefore, it does not have access to the information contained therein," it had said.
10:02   Pakistan urged to extend military support to Kashmiris
The United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman Syed Salahuddin (pictured) on Thursday asked Pakistan to extend "military support' to Kashmiri freedom fighters to help them accomplish their long-cherished goal of freedom from India, reports the Dawn Pakistan.

"The festering (Kashmir) issue is not going to resolve through talks or resolutions' Pakistan should militarily support Kashmiris by providing resources to the mujahideen,' he said at a press conference here. "If the mujahideen get military support, not only Kashmir will clinch freedom but the map of the subcontinent will also undergo a change,' he added. 
@blakelaliberte "and then he said, 'no one has more respect for women than I do'"
09:40   Rajdhani halts for mystery woman
A Rajdhani train made an unscheduled stop at Muri, 60km from here, this morning apparently to allow on board a passenger who, insiders said, was the daughter of a senior official of Ranchi railway division.

Curiously, no one in the railway hierarchy in Ranchi seemed to know that the 22824 express to Bhubaneswar from New Delhi was not just halted for three minutes at the junction, but also rerouted from yard tracks meant for galloping trains to tracks along platform three. Read more

Representational picture
09:34   Can Donald Trump be stopped?
In the aftermath of the final presidential debate, Republican leaders and elected officials will no longer be able to shirk their responsibility to curb Donald Trump -- who has become a clear and present danger not only to their party but to this country. He isn't dangerous because he soiled the GOP brand once more, because he mocks and taunts other Republicans, or because he is so likely to lose and take some of them down with him. Read more
J&K: Anti-militancy search operation on terror hideout started by army and police in Baramulla.
09:21   Were debate questions fed to 'Crooked' Hillary? Trump says, YES
Any hope for an odds-defying President Donald J Trump vanished before his supporters' eyes -- whether they choose to believe it or not -- during the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday. Some holdouts, however, have since constructed a conspiracy theory claiming that "crooked' Hillary Clinton was fed the debate questions beforehand. Read more
09:18   Trump's national political director 'steps back' from campaign
Jim Murphy, the national political director of Donald Trump, has stepped back from the campaign, according to the media reports. "I have not resigned but for personal reasons have had to take a step back from the campaign," Murphy said.

Murphy, who joined the Trump Campaign in June, did not specify any reason for this. He is a close ally of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, having worked together on Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, Politico said. Manafort had resigned from the campaign in August.
JUST IN: Bhubaneswar: Sum Hospital fire mishap death toll rises to 23.
09:05   Mulayam's second wife plotting against Akhilesh: MLC
The power tussle in the Samajwadi Party intensified, with a supporter of Akhilesh Yadav, party legislator Udayveer Singh, accusing Mulayam Singh's second wife of being part of the conspiracy against Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav and saying the party patriarch needed to make way for his son.

Singh, a member of the legislative council, also attacked state SP chief and Mulayam's brother Shivpal for being the "political front" of the CM's stepmother. He also cautioned Mulayam against the "conspiracies being hatched in his family against his elder son".

The four-page letter of the MLC, marked a major escalation. It is the the first time that a party functionary has asked Mulayam to make way for his son and suggested that the conflict in the party is linked to a feud in the Yadav clan involving the CM and his stepmother. 

08:47   J-K police crackdown: 250 students among 1,700 held in last 30 days
The Jammu and Kashmir police have launched a massive crackdown on youth across the Valley to contain the unrest that crossed 104 days on Thursday.

According to figures based on daily press releases issued by the police in Srinagar, 1,700 people were arrested between September 16 and October 19 to curb the activities of trouble mongers involved in various crimes of disrupting the public order.

Read more HERE
08:40   Journalist's car explodes, she escapes unhurt
Prominent journalist Saba Naqvi escaped any harm after her car exploded in flames on Thursday night. 

Taking to Twitter, Naqvi wrote, "Friends my 2011 VW Vento exploded in flames. Driver narrow escape. 5 minutes later my kid would have been in car. FIR done. Auto maker accountability?

"I ask because I'm told VW has withdrawn cars in U.S. Market for faulty  fuel tank," she further wrote. 
08:29   'Shocked and saddened': Pierce Brosnan speaks up on Pan Bahar ad
Pierce Brosnan says he is distressed to learn of Pan Bahars unauthorized and deceptive use of his image in a pan masala ad.

I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to ones health, Brosnan said. 

Brosnan claimed to been deceived and that the contract details stated that he was to advertise a breath freshener/tooth whitener.

The veteran actor had kicked off the ad campaign a day after Union consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the government is considering a ban on celebrity endorsements if advertisements are found to be misleading.

Having endured, in my own personal life, the loss of my first wife and daughter as well as numerous friends to cancer, I am fully committed to supporting womens healthcare and research programs that improve human health and alleviate suffering, the statement said.

Brosnans response comes amid public outrage over his endorsement, which could potentially turn into a media nightmare for the brand custodians.
07:51   Tenth woman alleges Trump of sexual assault, says he groped her at US Open
Another woman came forward claiming that Donald Trump groped her and made inappropriate sexual remarks, adding to accusations of nine other women that have emerged in recent days.

Karena Virginia, 45, a New York-area yoga instructor, said at a news conference that the celebrity billionaire and Republican presidential nominee had made an unwanted sexual advance at the 1998 US Open tennis tournament.

Virginia, reading from a written statement, said Trump pointed at her to other men and said "'hey, look at this one. We haven't seen this one before. Look at those legs' as if I was an object rather than a person."

Virginia, who was 27 at the time, said that Trump grabbed her by the arm and touched her breast.

"I felt intimidated and I felt powerless," she said, adding that she "felt ashamed" for wearing a short dress and high heels.

"That feeling of shame stayed with me for a while," she said.

The Trump campaign slammed the latest accusation of sexual misconduct as a tool meant to help Democratic rival Hillary Clinton win the November 8 election.
01:26   Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul
Elite Iraqi forces on Thursday retook a town on the eastern edge of Mosul while Kurdish peshmerga opened a new front in the offensive to wrest back the jihadists' last bastion in Iraq.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told an international meeting in Paris that the four-day-old offensive was "advancing faster than expected".

France and Iraq were co-chairing the meeting on the future of Mosul, which observers have warned could raise even greater humanitarian and inter-confessional challenges than the massive military operation to retake it.

In some areas, the Iraqi advance was met by a trickle of civilians fleeing both the fighting and the jihadists who ruled them for two years, but the feared mass exodus from Mosul had yet to materialise.

The counter-terrorism service, Iraq's best-trained and most battle-seasoned force, retook full control of Bartalla, a town that lies less than 15 kilometres east of Mosul.

"I announce to the people of Bartalla and Mosul we have complete control over Bartalla," CTS commander Taleb Sheghati al-Kenani told reporters from the town.
00:21   Another North Korea missile fails after launch: US
North Korea test-fired a missile that failed immediately after launch early on Thursday, the United States and South Korean militaries said, hours after the two countries agreed to step up efforts to counter the North's nuclear and missile threats.

The missile was believed to be an intermediate-range Musudan and was launched from the western city of Kusong, where the isolated state attempted but failed to launch the same type of missile on Saturday, the U.S. Strategic Command and South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The launch came shortly after the United States and South Korea agreed in Washington to bolster military and diplomatic efforts to counter the North's nuclear and missile programs, which it is pursuing in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.