Mon, 08 January 2018
I follow Vivekananda, not Godse: Siddaramaiah replies to Yogi

Timeline  Refresh

22:55   Dollars worth over Rs 3cr found with Jet crew member at IGIA, held
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence recovered US Dollars valued at Rs 3.21 crore from a woman crew member of a Hong Kong-bound Jet airways flight last night at at Indira Gnadhi International Airport.

The Crew member and supplier both have been apprehended and further investigation is in progress.

"US Dollars valued at Rs 3.21 crore recovered from a lady crew member of a Hong Kong-bound Jet Airways flight last night at Indira Gandhi International airport," the DRI said.

"During an inspection by DRI team a large sum of foreign currency was recovered from an employee of the airline. The employee has been taken into custody. Based on the investigations and inputs from law enforcement agencies, the airline will take further action," Jet Airways said.  -- ANI

Photograph: ANI
22:48   I follow Vivekananda, not Godse: Siddaramaiah replies to Yogi
Escalating attack on his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday dubbed him a 'Jungle Raj' chief minister, as both were locked in a Twitter war that went viral.

A day after Adityanath mocked at Siddaramaiah's assertion about his Hindu credentials, the Karnataka chief minister said the Hindutva he follows was the legacy of Swami Vivekananda and not Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.

'Ours is a Hindutva that follows the legacy of Vivekananda, not Godse. Let Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath read what Vivekanada has said before lecturing us about ban on cow slaughter,' Siddaramaiah said in a tweet in Kannada.

Speaking at the 'Nava Karnataka Parivartan Yatre' rally organised by the Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengaluru yesterday, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister took a jibe at Siddaramaiah, saying he was only now recalling his Hindu roots.

Siddaramaiah calls himself a Hindu just as Congress President Rahul Gandhi went to temple after temple during the Gujarat assembly elections, he had claimed adding that 'calling himself a Hindu will not suffice till he continues toendorse eating beef'.

Assembly elections are due in Karnataka, early this year.

This was the second such visit by Adityanath to the statein a month to campaign for the party.

He had last visited toaddresses a similar rally in Hubballi.

Calling Adityanath 'a Jungle Raj chief minister' while speaking to reporters at Byndoor in Udupi district today, Siddaramaiah said, "We need not learn from him."

"We need not learn from them (BJP) about Hindutva, theyare followers of Nathuram Godse, we need not learn from them," he said.

The fresh salvo from Siddaramaiah came after both engagedin the Twitter war.

Welcoming Adityanath to Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah tweeted that there's a lot he can learn from Karnataka to address there ported starvation deaths in his state.

'I welcome UP CM Shri @myogiadityanath to our state. There is a lot you can learn from us Sir. When you are here please visit an Indira Canteen & a ration shop. It will help you address the starvation deaths sometimes reported from your state. #YogiInBengaluru,' Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Adityanath promptly responded. Thanking Siddaramaiah for the welcome, he cited anincrease in farmers' suicides and alleged ill treatment to honest government officials under the Congress dispensation.

He also pointed out that he was trying to 'undo the misery' unleashed by Congress' allies in Uttar Pradesh.

'Thank you for the welcome @siddaramaiah ji. I heard number of farmers committing suicide in Karnataka was highest in your regime, not to mention the numerous deaths and transfer of honest officers.'

'As UP CM I am working to undo the misery and lawlessness unleashed by your allies,' Adityanath tweeted.

The 'welcome' barb between both the chief ministers has gone viral, with supporters of political parties they represent taking sides and trolling each other with hashtags '#YogiInBengaluru' and '#HogappaYogi' (go Yogi).

Adityanath also attacked Siddaramaiah personally for endorsing eating beef.

In another tweet late in the evening today, Siddaramaiah asked as to who the BJP people were to question food habits but added that he doesn't eat beef because he doesn't like it.

Siddaramaiah said, "Who are these people to question our food habits. Many among the Hindus consume beef. If I want to eat, I will eat. Who are these people to tell me not to eat. But I don't like beef, so I don't eat it."

He also said he had reared cows and asked whether Adityanath who lectures about cow protection had done the same.  --PTI
22:09   PM asks top police officials to deal with cyber crime on priority
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today drew the attention of the country's top police officials to the problems arising out of social media and cyber crimes, saying they should be dealt with on highest priority.

Speaking at the concluding day of the annual conference of the director generals and inspector generals of police in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh at the Border Security Force Academy, the prime minister said that there was an emerging global consensus towards greater information sharing on illicit financial dealings and India could play a key role in achieving this.

Modi said cyber security issues should be dealt with immediately and should receive highest priority, according to an official release.

In this context, the prime minister particularly mentioned the importance of social media.

He said messaging should rely on local languages for greater effectiveness.

Referring to the radicalisation of youth, Modi urged the top police officers to use technology to pinpoint the problem areas.

Around 250 top officers from the state police forces and central police organisations participated in the three-day meet.   -- PTI
20:45   Fire breaks out at Trump Tower in New York
A fire broke out on the roof of the Trump Tower in New York on Monday.

According to initial reports, the fire broke out in the building's heating and cooling system.

New York City fire officials said the fire injured two people.

Fire fighters were immediately rushed to the spot to douse the flames.

The reason behind fire has not been ascertained yet.

The 58-storey skyscraper serves as the headquarters for The Trump Organisation.

It also houses United States President Donald Trump's penthouse apartment.   -- ANI

Photograph: ANI
20:38   R-Day airspace closure reduced by 2 days
The restriction on use of airspace in the run-up to Republic Day has been reduced to seven days from nine, bringing some relief for passengers planning to travel from or into Delhi.

Nearly 1,000 flights were expected to be cancelled or rescheduled by the airspace closure imposed for commercial airlines for 100 minutes everyday for nine days from January 18 to 26.

But now there will be no restrictions on January 19 and January 25 which will bring the number of flights affected to approximately 780, according to an airport official.

The number of days for which the restriction was placed was brought down to seven after hectic consultations among the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Home Affairs and the Indian Air Force, a source said.

"Of the total nine days, three were standby days and the Indian Air Force has decided to withdraw two of them. January 19 and January 25 have been excluded (from the period of restriction)," according to the official.

The Airport Authority of India had issued a Notice to Airmen on December 29 informing airlines that no take-offs or landings would be allowed at Indira Gandhi International airport between 10.15am and 12.35 pm for nine days between January 18 to 26.

Indira Gandhi International Airport witnesses 67 air traffic movements (both take offs and landings) per hour between 8 am to 11 pm everyday.

With airspace shut for 100 minutes for seven days, an estimated 780 flights will either be cancelled or rescheduled now.

This means on an average 100 flights per day would be impacted. The source said that efforts are on to ensure that no more than approximately 60 domestic flights are cancelled per day.

International flights, which account for the remainder of flights, will only be rescheduled and not cancelled.  -- PTI
20:10   Lalu to move Jharkhand HC for bail
Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is lodged in a jail in Ranchi after his conviction by a Central Bureau of Investigation court in a fodder scam case, would move the Jharkhand high court for bail within the next few days, his lawyer said.

Yadav's lawyer Prabhat Kumar told PTI that his lawyers will move the high court either on Friday or next Monday.

An official of Birsa Munda Central jail said certified copies of the CBI court's judgment sentencing the 16 fodder scam convicts, including Yadav, were handed over to them on Saturday.

Replying to a query on whether the RJD chief would move the court for parole following his sister's death, Kumar said it was not under consideration.

"No, it is not under consideration," the lawyer said.

Yadav was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by the CBI court on January 6 for fraudulent withdrawl from Deoghar treasury between 1990 and 1994 when he was the Bihar chief minister.

The jail official remained tightlipped when asked about the varcity of reports that RJD supremo has been given the job of a gardener in the jail with his daily wage being Rs 93.

"We cannot tell that," he said, adding that a job is allotted according to the requirement of the jail and not the wish of an inmate.

Kumar said he was not informed about the kind of job Yadav has been asked to do.   -- PTI

Photograph: PTI Photo
19:07   Aadhaar data breach: Committed to freedom of Press, says Centre
Amid criticism of action by authorities over a newspaper report on Aadhaar data breach, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today that the government is committed to the freedom of the press and the first information report has been filed against 'unknown' entities.

'(The) Government is fully committed to freedom of Press as well as to maintaining security and sanctity of Aadhaar for India's development. (The) FIR is against unknown," Prasad said on Twitter.

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR on a Unique Identification Authority of India official's complaint over the newspaper report on alleged data breach of Aadhaar details even as the daily said it will defend its freedom to undertake investigative journalism.

UIDAI Deputy Director B M Patnaik told the police that an input was received from The Tribune that it has purchased a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details of any of the Aadhaar numbers created in India, the police had said on Sunday.

On January 5, a complaint was received from Patnaik and the FIR was registered the same day, the police said.

The Editors Guild Of India sought government intervention for the withdrawal of the case and called for an 'impartial' investigation into the matter.      

Criticising the lodging of the FIR, the guild said it was 'deeply concerned' over reports that the UIDAI deputy director had registered a complaint in which the reporter of The Tribune, Rachna Khaira, has been named.

Prasad said: 'I've suggested UIDAI to request Tribune & its journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders.'  -- PTI
JUST IN: ANI has retracted an earlier alert about death of former Chinese President Hu Jintao, saying no Chinese official media has confirmed the news yet.  
17:49   Safe havens to terrorists in Pak not acceptable to US: CIA
Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo has said that Pakistan continues to provide safe havens to terrorists which is not acceptable to America.

US President Donald Trump has asked Pakistan to 'cease' being a safe haven for terrorists that threaten the US, the CIA Director said yesterday.

The US has suspended about $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terror network and dismantle their safe havens.

"We see the Pakistanis continuing to provide safe harbour, havens inside of Pakistan for terrorists who present risks to the United States of America," Pompeo was quoted as saying by the CBS news.

"We are doing our best to inform the Pakistanis that this is no longer going to be acceptable. So this conditioned aid, we have given them a chance. If they fix this problem, we are happy to continue to engage with them and be their partner. But if they don't, we're going to protect America," he said.

The CIA director was responding to questions on the recent decision of the Trump administration to suspend approximately $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan.

"The President has made very clear that he needs Pakistan to cease being a safe haven for terrorists that threaten the United States of America, end, period, full stop," Pompeo said, reflecting the stand taken by Trump.

The security assistance can be restored if Pakistan takes decisive actions against terrorists.  -- PTI

Image only for representation.
17:37   Rajasthan government still against Padmavat release
Even after getting a clearance from the Censor Board by changing its name and carrying out suggested modifications, Sanjay Leela Bhansalis Padmavat will not be released in Rajasthan.

State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the 'earlier orders' of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, prohibiting the release of the movie, will be followed.

"Following earlier orders of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, movie Padmavat will not be released in the state," Kataria told ANI.

The Rajput Karni Sena, which has been spearheading the protests against the Deepika Padukone-starrer movie, has already declared that it will 'set theatres showing Padmavat afire'.

The Central Board of Film Certification had earlier decided to give a U/A certificate to the movie after a few 'modifications'.

The movie is set to release on January 25.  -- With ANI inputs
17:24   'Vital files' destroyed in fire at Gorakhpurs BRD Hospital
A major fire today gutted the principal's office and an adjacent record room of the state-run Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur, the fire department said.

No loss of life has been reported, but the fire destroyed important documents in the record room of Baba Raghav Das Medical College, which was in the news last year after scores of infants died at the facility.

While the police said it seems that short circuit may be the cause of the fire, a local Samajwadi Party leader described the blaze as mysterious and sought a probe into why only vital files were destroyed.

"Prima facie, it seems that the fire was caused by a short circuit," SP (North) Ganesh Saha said.

Chief Fire Service Officer T K Singh said a committee has been constituted to probe the reasons behind the fire.

Six fire tenders took nearly an hour to bring the blaze under control.

Describing the fire as mysterious, SP district chief Prahlad Yadav suspected that it was an act of sabotage to destroy vital documents related to provision of oxygen to the hospital and files pertaining to its shortage in supply that led to deaths of so many children last year.

He alleged that officials reached the spot late though their attention was drawn to the blaze as soon as flames were noticed by the people there.

"It should be probed as to how and why only important files were reduced to ashes," Yadav said.

The BRD Medical College had hit the headlines in August last year when 63 children, including infants, died within a span of four days when the supply of oxygen was allegedly disrupted due to non-payment of dues to the vendor.

The state government had, however, vehemently denied that shortage of oxygen led to the deaths.  -- PTI

Image used only for representation.
17:10   Marathas and Dalits will need a new meeting point
The trust deficit and the political tug of war between them will persist, 'though the Marathas have more political leverage than the Dalits. It is not surprising that the Dalits, too, on the rebound, are now asserting their identity and dominance. The future contours will largely be determined by Prakash Ambedkar, who is exhibiting much maturity in his restrained political discourse,' writes Neeta Kolhatkar in the Free Press Journalhere.
16:11   Sensex hits new life-time high, Nifty scales 10,600 for first time
Stocks rose to fresh life-time closing high levels on optimism over earnings, growth and budget, with the benchmark BSE Sensex jumping by 199 points to end at record 34,352.79.
The broader NSE Nifty for the first time closed above 10,600 mark after consistent buying by domestic and foreign investors.
Gains in key IT, capital goods, healthcare and metal stocks helped both the key indices to scale new peaks. 
The 30-share Sensex continued its upward march to touch a new intra-day record high of 34,385.67, surpassing its previous high of 34,188.85 hit on January 5.
But it lost some ground due to profit-booking and settled at a new closing peak of 34,352.79, up 198.94 points, or 0.58 per cent. The Sensex bettered its previous record of 34,153.85 touched on January 5.
In last two days, the index has gained 360.47 points.
Similarly, the broader 50-issue NSE Nifty hit a new intra-day high of 10,631.20, smashing its previous record of 10,566.10 hit on January 5.
However, it shed some grounds to close at 10,623.60, still a new closing high, up by 64.75 points or 0.61 per cent. It broke the previous record of 10,558.85 reached on January 5.
Traders said sentiment remained upbeat on continuous foreign fund inflows and unbated buying by investors amid expectations of encouraging quarterly earnings and hopes of growth-oriented budget next month.
Firm global cues with most other Asian markets rising with the corporate earnings season about to kick off amid more records on Wall Street, too positively impacted on the domestic bourses. -- PTI
15:38   Are we living in banana republic? 'Shotgun' Sinha on Aadhaar breach FIR
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Shatrughan Sinha today wondered if the people of the country were living in a "banana republic", saying a journalist who did a story to highlight the misuse of Aadhaar details was being hauled up for reporting an "alleged truth".
"What kind of 'justice' is this? Is there only politics of vendetta? Even public is being victimised for coming out honestly for society and the nation," he said in a tweet.
Sinha has been critical of the central government and the BJP leadership over a host of issues.
The actor-turned-politician also congratulated the Editors' Guild of India for its strong response to the lodging of an FIR in connection with the incident and expressed hope that the "genuine authorities" in the government and the Supreme Court in particular would take notice and come up with swift corrective measures.
"A journalist is hauled up for reporting alleged truth about malfunctioning & misuse of Aadhar. Are we living in a Banana Republic (sic)?" the tweet from the Patna Sahib MP read.
The Delhi Police has registered an FIR on a complaint from a Unique Identification Authority of India official over a newspaper report on alleged data breach of more than one billion Aadhaar cards, naming the reporter, even as the daily said it would defend its freedom to undertake investigative journalism.
The FIR mentions the names of the reporter and the people she reached out to "purchase" the Aadhaar data, but they were not named as accused, the police said. -- PTI 
15:27   China supports Pak again, opposes US 'finger pointing'
China today said it is opposed to the US "finger pointing" at Pakistan and linking it with terrorism, insisting that the responsibility of cracking down on terror outfits cannot be placed on a particular country.
China's support for its all-weather ally came as the US stepped up its efforts to pressure Pakistan to eliminate terror safe havens on its soil.
The US last week suspended approximately USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan for its failure to take decisive action against terror groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
"China always opposed linking terrorism with any certain country and we dont agree to place the responsibility of anti terrorism on a certain country," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing.
He was responding to a question on a White House official's remarks that China could play helpful role in convincing Pakistan that it was in its national interest to crackdown on terror safe havens.
"We have stressed many times that Pakistan has made important sacrifices and contributions to the global anti terrorism cause," Lu said.
"Countries should strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation on the basis of mutual respect instead of finger pointing at each other. This is not conducive to the global terrorism efforts," he said.
China has been vocal in extending support to Pakistan since US President Donald Trump increased rhetoric against Islamabad providing safe havens for terrorists.
 Trump in a New Year's Day tweet accused the country of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years.
Chinese media has been speculating that Trump's efforts to step up pressure on Pakistan may move it closer to Islamabad as Beijing is involved in a number of projects in the country under the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor. -- PTI
15:09   TN governor to meet President, PM in Delhi on Tuesday
Earlier in the day Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Prohit made his maiden address to the state assembly which was boycotted by the Opposition DMK.   

And tomorrow he will be rushing to Delhi where he is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind at 6.15 pm. A little before that, he will have met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too.   

Political observers attach much significance to these meetings, given that the political situation in the southern state is in a state of flux with the state government headed by E K Palaniswami teetering on the edge.   

In his monthly reports Governor Purohit has been mentioning the emerging political forces in the state represented by actors Rajinikant and Kamalahaasan, as well as TTV Dinakaran's election to the state assembly. 

Political observers also feel that the state government is surviving at the pleasure of the BJP government at the Centre, else various factions of the AIADMK would have toppled Palaniswami by now.    

Given all this, what will Governor Purohit brief the Centre, is the million dollar question.   

Wait and watch, time alone will provide the answer, said a senior AIADMK leader.
14:54   Hold polls again if NOTA is more than winning margin: Ex-CEC
Former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy has pitched for second round of elections in constituencies where the winning margin is less than the NOTA or none of the above option and the victorious candidate fails to muster one-third of votes.
He also expressed the view that India's first-past- the-post electoral system has outlived its utility.
"In my opinion, NOTA is very good; we should say if NOTA crosses certain percentage of votes; for example if the difference between the winner and the loser is less than the NOTA votes, you can say we should have second round of elections," Krishnamurthy told PTI.
A law needs to enacted to implement this measure, he said.
NOTA gives the voter a right not to vote for any candidate contesting from a particular seat. 
More than 5.5 lakh voters -- or 1.8 per cent voters -- pressed the NOTA button on the electronic voting machines in the recent assembly elections in Gujarat, where the winning margin was less than NOTA in several constituencies.
NOTA's vote share in Gujarat elections was higher than that of any party other than the Congress and the BJP.
Krishnamurthy also said, "Another possibility is to say that the winner should poll more than 33.33 per cent or one-third of total number of votes polled," a move which would make smaller political parties "disappear".
"There should be second round (of elections) if NOTA is more (than the winning margin) or if a person fails to get 33.33 per cent (of the total votes polled)," he said.
Krishnamurthy said NOTA will eventually force political parties to field candidates known for their integrity, and those who are more popular in segments taking into account people's sentiments. -- PTI 
14:26   Tuting incident resolved: Gen Rawat on China's intrusion into Arunachal
The "Tuting incident" in Arunachal Pradesh has been resolved, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat said in New Delhi today, days after Indian troops foiled attempts by Chinese road building teams to build a track on the Indian
side of the border.
Rawat suggested that a Border Personnel Meeting between the two sides in Arunachal two days ago had resolved the issue.
"The Tuting incident has been resolved," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
He added that the BPM had taken place two days ago.
According to the Army chief, there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector.

Chinese road building teams had entered about one kilometre inside Indian territory in Tuting, government sources said, adding that they had come for track alignment activities.
The teams returned when confronted by Indian troops and left behind various road building equipment, including excavators, they said.
The incident came nearly four months after the end of the 73-day Dokalam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim sector. -- PTI
13:33   Fire breaks out at BRD Hospital; principal's office gutted
A major fire broke out today at the state-run BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur, infamous for deaths of scores of children last year allegedly due to shortage of oxygen, fire department said.
No loss of life has been reported so far.
Three fire tenders were pressed to control the blaze that caused extensive damage to the principal's office and the adjacent record room situated in the hospital premises.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
The medical college had hit the headlines in August last year when 63 children, including infants, died within a span of four days when the supply of oxygen was allegedly disrupted due to non-payment of dues to the vendor. -- PTI
13:23   SC to review Article 377 which criminalises gay sex
The Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider its 2013 decision criminalising consensual sexual relations between same sex adults and the need to decriminalise Section 377 of Indian Penal Code.

The court today referred the subject to a larger bench.

In 2013, the court had cancelled a high court order that had decriminalized homosexuality by overturning a colonial-era law. 

The court today said the decision needs to be reconsidered because of constitutional issues. 

"We think it appropriate to send this issue to a larger bench," the court said. 

After the SC in August ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right, activists and lawyers working for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or LGBTQ community made a strong case for the rights of sexual minorities.

The petitioners have contended that homosexuality was not a mental disorder, but a normal and natural variant of human sexuality.
12:34   BJP left red-faced as its bypoll candidate says she is with TMC
The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party was left red-faced after former Trinamool Congress MLA Manju Basu turned down the saffron party's offer to contest the upcoming Noapara assembly bypoll.
The BJP central leadership had announced Basu's name as the party's candidate for the byelection yesterday evening. Hours later, Basu told reporters that she is still with the TMC.
"I am a loyal soldier of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. I am still with the TMC and have full faith on Mamata Banerjee," Basu said.
Sources in the BJP said Basu had given a missed call to the party's toll-free number to get a membership. There was no official announcement on her joining the saffron party.
The two-time TMC MLA from Noapara assembly seat, however, chose to speak little on the matter and said it was her personal decision to decline the BJP's offer.
"You can have offers from various political parties. But whether you will accept it or not is a personal decision."
Basu, known to be a close associate of Mukul Roy during his stint with the TMC, was seen holding regular talks with the BJP in the past few days after being denied a ticket from the seat by the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
A senior BJP leader claimed that Roy, who had joined the saffron party in November last year, had pitched for Basu even as a section of state BJP leadership was not very keen on giving her the ticket.
A visibly-embarrassed BJP tried to put up a brave face yesterday and accused the ruling party of arm-twisting its candidate.
"We were aware that she was being threatened by the TMC. That's the reason She was forced to backtrack," BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said.
The TMC has announced the name of Sunil Singh as its candidate from Noapara.
The Noapara assembly seat fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA Madhusudan Ghose a few months ago.
The bypoll has been scheduled for January 29 and counting of votes will take place on February 1. -- PTI
12:03   Jadhav row: 'Chappal chor Pakistan' protest rock Washington
A group of Americans of Indian, Afghan and Baloch descents has protested outside the Pakistani embassy in Washington against the "inhumane" treatment of the wife and mother of Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav during their recent visit to Islamabad.
Braving freezing cold, the protesters also brought along sandals to give them to the Pakistani embassy officials.
"The trial of Kulbhushan Jadhav violated all norms of international law as it was conducted by a military court," said Ahmar Mustikhan, founder of the American Friends of Baolchistan, which organised the unique event named as "Chappal-Chor Pakistan" (slipper-thief Pakistan).
Both Jadhav's wife and mother were asked to remove their sandals, mangalsutras and bindis before they were allowed to meet him, and the sandals were subsequently stolen, Mustikhan said.
The protesters said that Pakistan meted out "inhumane" treatment to Jadhav's wife and mother during their tightly-controlled interaction with the 47-year-old Indian national on December 25 in the Pakistan foreign office.
During the meeting, whose pictures were released by Pakistan, Jadhav was seen sitting behind a glass screen while his mother and wife sat on the other side. They spoke through intercom and the entire 40-minute proceedings appeared to have been recorded on video.
"The recent episode of Pakistan makes a mockery of humanity. By not returning the slippers of Smt. Kulbhushan Yadav and asking them to remove even Bindi and Mangal Sutras and changing their dresses as well, it is just another sleazy activity Pakistan has done to a Bharata Soubhagya Nari (married Indian woman)," said Krishna Gudipati, local Hindu community leader in USA.
Carl Clemens, volunteer with several local community organisations alleged that the treatment given to the mother and wife by Pakistan foreign office typified the "petty vindictiveness and humiliation" that is the prevalent culture in Pakistan.
"They have humiliated the religious and faith symbols of Hindu womanhood. Because of this sort of behaviour Pakistan has found itself on a watch list. This behaviour will lead to Pakistan's own destruction," said the protester Dhananjay Shevilkar.
Pakistan on December 25 had issued a video of Jadhav in which he was purportedly seen thanking the Pakistan government for arranging a meeting with his wife and mother.
India has asserted that Jadhav appeared coerced and under considerable stress during the tightly-controlled interaction.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice in May. -- PTI
11:54   We must fight the next war with home-made solutions: Army chief
India must fight the next war with home-made solutions, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said today while strongly pitching for developing the domestic defence industry. 

"We would like to gradually move away from imports (in defense technology) because for a nation like ours, the time has come to ensure that we fight the next war with home made solutions," he said at Army Technology Seminar in New Delhi.

Gen Rawat asked the industry leaders to come forward and support the Indian Army.

"We are confident that if we get support from industry we will walk the extra mile to ensure that we utilise the technology you give us," he said.

"There is a huge requirement of modernisation of our armed forces, in every field. The future wars will be fought in difficult terrains and circumstances. We have to be prepared for them," he added. 
11:43   South Asia and majoritarianism
'Majoritarianism in South Asia isn't necessarily about targeting Muslims. Nor is it provoked by the need to discipline recalcitrant minorities in general. Majoritarian politics results from the patiently constructed self-image of an aggrieved, besieged majority that believes itself to be long-suffering and refuses to suffer in silence anymore. The cultivation of this sense of injury is the necessary precondition for the lynchings, pogroms, and ethnic cleansing that invariably follow,' writes Mukul Kesavan in The New York Review of Books, in his review of two books -- The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar's Genocide by Azeem Ibrahim and Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging, edited by Melissa Crouch.   

You can read his review here.

Photograph alongside: Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters.
11:14   16-year-old accused of Pradhyumn's murder denied bail
Just In: Gurgaon court denies bail to 16-year-old student, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur at Ryan International School. 
10:59   Stalin leads DMK walkout against governor's maiden address to TN assembly
Tami Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit today made his maiden address to the state assembly even as the main opposition DMK along with its allies walked out of the House boycotting his speech.   

Soon after he arrived, Purohit greeted all members of the House with a 'Vanakkam' and began his address.   

Even as he began his speech, Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin was on his feet trying to raise some issues.   

The governor paused for a moment and told Stalin, 'Please, ukkarunga' (please take your seat) in Tamil but to no avail.   

Stalin was supported by his party MLAs, who raised slogans demanding that their leader be allowed to speak.   

A little later, the DMK working president led his party members and staged a walkout.   

Congress members and the lone IUML legislator also followed suit.   

The governor then continued his address.   

Amid the noisy scenes, TTV Dhinakaran, who made his debut in the assembly after having won the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll by a thumping margin of 40,000 votes against E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK, was seated calmly.
10:26   Widespread protests sign of Iran regime's failure: US, France
The widespread protests in Iran was a sign of failure of the government, US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have agreed, the White House said.
The two leaders spoke over phone during which they also discussed the developments in the Korean Peninsula. 
North and South Korea are scheduled to hold talks on January 9.
Trump spoke to Macron to provide an update on developments on the Korean Peninsula, and to underscore American, South Korean and international resolve to achieve the complete denuclearisation of North Korea, the White House said in a readout of the call.
"The presidents also agreed that the widespread demonstrations in Iran were a sign of the Iranian regime's failure to serve its people's needs by instead diverting the nation's wealth to fund terrorism and militancy abroad," it
At least 21 people have been killed in Iran after anti-government began on December 28. -- PTI 
10:20   Sensex soars to life-time high, Nifty above 10,600
The BSE Sensex soared to life-time high of 34,331.85 and the NSE Nifty crossed the 10,600 level for the first time in early trade today on strong gains in pharma, IT and banking stocks amid optimism over quarterly
earnings by corporates.
Asian markets trading with gains after more records on Wall Street influenced the trading sentiment here.
The 30-share Sensex soared by 178 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 34,331.85 points, breaching its previous record high (intra-day) of 34,188.85 hit on January 5.
The gauge had gained 360.47 points in the previous two sessions.
All the sectoral indices, led by realty, healthcare and infrastructure were trading in the positive zone, rising up to 1.52 per cent
Major gainers that helped both the key indices to scale new highs were Sun Pharma, Yes Bank, Dr Reddy's, L&T, Infosys, HDFC Ltd, Power Grid, ONGC, Coal India, ICICI Bank, Indusind Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel and Tata Motors, gaining up to 3.72 per cent.
The 50-issue Nifty crossed the 10,600 level for the first time by gaining 46.95 points, or 0.44 per cent, to trade at an all-time high of 10,605.80 surpassing its previous intra-day high of 10,566.10 touched on January 5.
Among 50 Nifty scrips, 42 were trading with gains, led by pharma stocks.
Sentiment remained upbeat on sustained capital inflows and widespread buying by retail investors amid expectations of encouraging third quarterly earnings, to be announced this week, brokers said.
Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.01 per cent while Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.39 per cent. Financial markets in Japan are closed today for a public holiday.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.88 per cent higher in Friday's trade. -- PTI
10:06   Former Shiv Sena corporator killed in Mumbai
A former Shiv Sena corporator was killed by unidentified assailants in Mumbai last night, a police official said. 

Ashok Sawant, 62, a two-term corporator from Samata Nagar in suburban Kandivli, was attacked with choppers while he was returning home after meeting a friend around 11 pm, he said. 

He was rushed to a nearby hospital in Kandivli but was declared dead on arrival, the official said.

Sawant had entered the cable television business a few years ago, he said. -- PTI
09:49   Fire breaks out at Mumbai sessions court
A fire broke out on the third floor of the sessions court building in Mumbai on Monday morning, an official said.
No casualty or injury has been reported so far, he said.
The fire brigade got a call at 7.14 am about the blaze in the court building, located near the campus of the Mumbai University in South Mumbai, the official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's disaster management unit said.
The fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot, he said.
"Efforts are on to douse the flames," he said.
The cause of fire was not yet known, he said, adding that an investigation will be carried out into the incident.
Further details were awaited.
This is the fifth fire incident in the city in the last 20 days.
Twelve people were killed when a massive fire broke out at a snack shop in Saki Naka-Kurla area here on December 18.
Later, 14 people were killed in a fire at an upscale pub in the Kamala Mills compound on December 29.
On another incident on January 4, four persons, including two children, died and five were seriously injured after an upper floor of a residential building in suburban Marol caught fire.
Besides, a 20-year-old man, who worked for a television serial production unit, was killed in a fire at the Cine Vista film studio in suburban Kanjurmarg on January 6. -- PTI
09:17   Have earned the FIR, says scribe named in FIR on Aadhaar data breach story
Rachna Khaira, the reporter of The Tribune newspaper who has been named in an FIR by the Delhi Police in connection with a report on the breach of details of over one billion Aadhaar cards, said that she was happy about the development as she had "earned" it.
"I think I have earned this FIR. I am happy that at least the UIDAI has taken some action on my report and I really hope that along with the FIR, the government of India will see what all breaches were there and take appropriate action," she told a television news channel.
Asked whether she stood by her report, Khaira said, "Yes, of course. I stand by every word in it."
On being asked whether the FIR was a case of shooting the messenger, Khaira said, "I have not received the copy of the FIR. For me, it is difficult to comment on the issue right now, because if it is filed by the UIDAI officials, my comment may be different. So, right now, I would like to refrain from commenting on the issue."
When it was pointed out that the FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint from a deputy director of the Unique Identification Authority of India, she said, "These are media reports. I have to see the FIR because I have been
told that there are some reports that the FIR was not filed by the UIDAI. So, I do not think that this is the right time to comment on the issue."
On whether she had received any organisational support, Khaira said, "I am very happy that not only the Chandigarh media, the Delhi media and even the international media have assured me of support. I am also happy that the report has been applauded by the big names in the media. The Tribune is providing all the legal assistance to me."
Asked if she was mulling requesting the Centre to withdraw the FIR, she said, "I am sure the government of India is taking note of the latest developments in the case. I am hopeful that we will hear something very soon."  -- PTI
08:46   No one inside White House questions Trump's mental stability: Haley
No one inside the White House questions the mental stability of President Donald Trump, his top envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said.
Haley, the first ever cabinet-ranking official in any presidential administration, was responding to an allegation made against Trump in a controversial book 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House' by author Michael Wolff that hit the stores on Friday.
"I know those people in the White House. These people love their country and respect our president... No one questions the (mental) stability of the president," Indian-American Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN.
Wolff said his book is based on interviews with some 200 people inside and outside the White House.
"I can't vouch for anything like that. I don't know if it was 200 interviews with Steve Bannon, or if it was 200 interviews with himself, but I can tell you, I know these people. I work with these people," she said.
"I work with the president and speak with him multiple times a week, this is a man, he didn't become the president by accident," she said.
"We need to be realistic at the fact that every person, regardless of race, religion, or party, who loves the country, should support this president. It's that important," said the top American diplomat coming out in strong defence of the US President.
Haley said she is in constant communication with not only with the president but also with people around him.
"I'm around them all the time. I see these people put everything they have got into their jobs and into respecting and trusting the president. If they didn't, they wouldn't be there," she said. -- PTI 
08:28   5 charred to death in Bengaluru restaurant fire
Five employees of a bar-cum-restaurant were charred to death when a major fire broke out at Kumbaara Sangha building in Bengaluru's Kalasipalya in the early hours today, police said.
The incident occurred at 2:30 am at Kailash Bar and Restaurant when the employees were asleep.
Police identified the victims as Swami (23), Prasad (20), Mahesh, all residents of Tumakuru,  Manjunath (45) from Hassan and Keerthi (24) from Mandya.
"An incident of fire has occurred at Kailash Bar and Restaurant located in the ground floor of Kumbaara sangha building (in the vegetable market area). Fire and smoke was noticed by some persons at around 2.30 am and fire services were pressed into action. Two fire tenders and one fire rescue vehicle attended to it and it has been doused," a senior police officer said.
The cause of fire was unknown and was being investigated, he said. -- PTI