Thu, 08 March 2018
Cricketer Shami's wife lodges police complaint against him

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23:34   Cricketer Shami's wife lodges police complaint against him
Team India pacer Mohammed Shami's wife Hasin Jahan today lodged a written complaint with the police against the cricketer, alleging domestic violence and infidelity.
Hasin submitted a written complaint to Kolkata Police Joint CP (Crime) Praveen Tripathi who said that it would be treated as an FIR.
"We have received a complaint from the cricketer's wife where she has alleged physical and mental torture by him. We are yet to decide on which sections a case can be started," he told reporters.
After meeting Tripathi, Hasin said she has described her ordeal to him and the officer promised proper action in the case.
"I have met the officer and told him everything about how I have been tortured by Shami. I have also told him about his multiple sexual partners despite being married to me," Hasin said.
Shami, yesterday, in posts on his Facebook page and Twitter handle, had claimed that the news was false and a conspiracy to defame him. -- PTI
22:40   TDP ministers resign: BJP says 'we can emerge as 3rd force in Andhra'
The BJP sees the resignations of two TDP ministers from the central government as an inevitable outcome driven by the regional party's "political compulsions" ahead of the assembly polls in the state next year.
Andhra Pradesh BJP chief K Hari Babu said political one-upmanship has been going on in the state -- an apparent reference to the war of words between TDP and its main rival YSY Congress -- over the special category status, and said the ministers' resignations were more of a political ploy ahead of next year's assembly polls.
The assembly polls in the state will be held along with the Lok Sabha election.
The saffron party, which has two Lok Sabha members from the state with 25 seats, is not much worried, its leaders said, over the prospect of fighting the elections without an ally.
"The BJP has potential to emerge as a third viable alternative in Adhra Pradesh and our track records in different states testify to this. We will continue to work for the people there to become a significant political force," its spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
As of now, the TDP remains a part of the NDA even after its decision to pull its ministers out of the government.
BJP sources said even if their party has to fight alone, it can only grow in a state where it has always had a marginal presence.
They also added that while the TDP remains a part of the NDA, the YSR Congress has also been friendly to the government in Parliament, which gives the BJP a unique political space as its main national rival, the Congress, remains a pariah for the two regional parties.
With the Centre slamming the door shut on Naidu's demand for special category status, he was left with little option but to escalate the matter as YSR Congress's chief Jaganmohan Reddy has been attacking him over the issue,  the sources said.
"It was his political compulsion," they said.
The fact that the TDP has decided to remain a part of the NDA shows that the party is hedging its bets given the BJP's growing political clout at the national level ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls, they said.  -- PTI
22:29   India's ranking improves in gender diversity: Report
India's ranking in gender diversity has improved with the representation of women in top leadership positions rising to 20 per cent in 2018, even as the country ranks fifth lowest in having women in such roles, says a report.
The findings in this report are drawn from 4,995 interviews conducted between July and December 2017 with chief executive officers, managing directors, chairs, and other senior decision-makers from all industry sectors in mid-market businesses in 35 countries.
According to Grant Thornton's Women in business: Beyond policy to progress report, though the percentage of leadership roles held by women in India has increased, still 30 per cent of the respondents said they have no women in the leadership roles.
As per the report, there has been a steady growth in women in leadership positions from 17 per cent last year to 20 per cent in 2018. This number stood at 14 per cent in 2014.
"While the representation of women in top leadership roles is on the rise, the process is indeed slow, limited to the dated approach of ticking the diversity box," said Kavita Mathur, People & Culture Leader, Grant Thornton Advisory Private Limited.
The data shows that gender equality policies are abundant and widespread, with 64 per cent of Indian businesses adopting equal pay for men and women performing the same roles, and 55 per cent implementing non-discrimination policies for recruitment.
While 57 per cent of the surveyed Indian businesses suggested that government should do more to address the issue of gender inequality in business leadership at a legislative level, only 31 per cent expressed that businesses and government need to work collaboratively in this area. -- PTI   
22:20   Dawood associate Farooq Takla gets CBI custody till Mar 19
Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's aide Farooq Takla, arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was today remanded in the agency's custody till March 19 by a TADA court in Mumbai.
Mohammed Farooq Yasin Mansoor alias Farooq Takla, 57, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi at 5:15 AM today.
After questioning him at the agency headquarters in Delhi throughout the day, Takla was brought to Mumbai by the CBI and produced before the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court this evening.
Seeking Takla's custody, CBI lawyer Deepak Salvi told the court that the accused was an active conspirator and a perpetrator of the bomb blasts along with Dawood Ibrahim, his brother Anees and others.
According to the CBI lawyer, Takla provided logistical support such as arranging tickets for accused Salim Bismillah Khan alias Salim Kurla, Mohd Hanif Mohd Usman Shaikh, Shaikh Ibrahim Shaikh Hussain, and Mohd Sayyad Mohd Issaq, and had received them in Dubai before the blasts.
He also arranged for their accommodation in Dubai from where they were sent to Pakistan for receiving training in handling of arms and explosives, Salvi argued.
Takla also arranged for the expenses of the accused during their stay in Dubai, the CBI lawyer said.
Later, TADA court judge G A Sanap remanded Takla in CBI custody till March 19.
Meanwhile, Takla's brother Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor, who was acquitted by the court in the blasts case earlier, said in the courtroom that Takla came to India because he had asked him so.
A total of 257 people died and over 700 were injured when 12 coordinated blasts rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993. -- PTI
22:13   Case against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar over Syria remarks
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was today booked by the city police following a complaint against him for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslim community by giving "provocative" statements on the Ayodhya issue.
"The complaint against the spiritual guru, who has been trying for a solution to the Ayodhya dispute through mediation, was filed by Salahuddin Affan, secretary of the city-based Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahadat (DJS)," Moghalpura police station Inspector R Devendar said.
In the complaint, Affan claimed Ravi Shankar gave "provocative" statements against the Muslim community over the Ayodhya row with an intention to hurt religious feelings and beliefs of its members, he said.
The complainant alleged that the 61-year-old spiritual leader had stated that "if the court rules against a temple (in Ayodhya), there will be bloodshed in the country and India will have a Syria-like situation".
This statement was given with an intention to disturb communal harmony in the country, Affan said.
However, the spiritual guru had on March 6 clarified that he had cited Syria just as an example.
"It was a point of view, and not threat. There is no point in giving a threat. I cannot imagine it even in my dreams. We want peace, and an atmosphere of harmony...I feel that the situation which is prevailing in other countries, should never arise in our country. We are working in those countries," he had told reporters at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
Ravi Shankar has been booked under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), the Inspector said.
A similar complaint was also registered against the well-known religious figure with the Saidabad police station, another police official said. -- PTI
21:40   Aarushi murder case: CBI moves SC against acquittal of Talwars
The Central Bureua of Investigation today moved the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the sensational 2008 twin murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
The move by the agency came months after Hemraj's wife had in December last year approached the top court against the Allahabad high court verdict of October 12 last year acquitting the couple.
The CBI filed an appeal challenging the high court order acquitting the Talwar couple, CBI's spokesperson said.
The high court had freed them of the charges on the ground that they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.
A CBI court at Ghaziabad had sentenced the Talwars to life imprisonment on November 26, 2013 in connection with the case.
Before the high court's order came, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were serving their life sentences in Ghaziabad's Dasna jail.
Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars' Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards 45-year-old Hemraj, who had gone missing but his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over a shoddy probe into the case which was making national headlines, the case was handed over to the CBI on a recommendation by the then chief minister Mayawati. -- PTI
20:56   Pak appoints investment banking expert as envoy to US
Pakistan has appointed  investment banking expert Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as its next ambassador to the United States, government sources said today.
Siddiqui, son of prominent businessman and banker Jahangir Siddiqui, will replace Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Chaudhry's tenure is due to expire and the government hasn't offered him an extension.
Sources in the government said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after consultations approved the appointment and Siddiqui is expected to take up responsibilities next month after completion of formalities.
His appointment comes at a time of fresh strain in ties between Islamabad and Washington after the US successfully moved the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on the global terror financing watch-list.
Siddiqui was appointed as the special assistant to the PM on economic and business matters in August last.
He had also served as chairman of JS Bank Ltd, which was founded by his stockbroker-turned-banker father Jahangir Siddiqui. He separated from business after his appointment as the special assistant.
Siddiqui has no direct experience of diplomacy as he served at different positions in various business and commercial entities in Pakistan and abroad. He was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014. -- PTI 
20:37   No new developments in Doklam, status quo prevails: Govt
There have been no new developments at the face-off site with China in Doklam and its vicinity and status quo prevails in the area, V K Singh, minister of state in the External Affairs Ministry said today.
In August last year, India and China decided to end their 73-day standoff between their troops at Doklam. The standoff had strained ties considerably between the two countries.
"Since the disengagement of Indian and Chinese border personnel in the Doklam area on August 28, 2017, there have been no developments at the face-off site and its vicinity. The status quo prevails," Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said Indian and Chinese troops have "redeployed" themselves away from the face-off site in Doklam, and China has undertaken construction of helipads, sentry posts and trenches for its army personnel there.
"Post disengagement from the face-off in 2017, troops of both sides have redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site. The strength of both sides have been reduced," she had said, replying to a question on the issue in the Rajya Sabha.
"In order to maintain these troops during the winter, People's Liberation Army (PLA) has undertaken construction of some infrastructure, including sentry posts, trenches and helipads," she had said, replying to a question on whether satellite images have revealed that China has constructed seven helipads in Doklam, besides deploying tanks and missiles in the area.
Today, Singh said India and China have appointed a Special Representative (SR) each to explore the framework for border settlement.
Twenty meetings of the SRs have taken place so far and the two sides are "committed to seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question through dialogue and peaceful negotiations".
The two sides are also on the same page over having peace and tranquillity in border areas for smooth development of India-China ties, he noted.
Singh added that the government was aware of China's ambition of becoming a maritime power, and as a part of which Beijing is developing support bases, ports and other infrastructure facilities in the littoral countries in the Indian Ocean Region, including in the vicinity of India's maritime borders.
20:35   Pregnant woman dies after cop 'kicks' bike
A young pregnant woman was killed and her husband injured when the two-wheeler they were riding was allegedly kicked by a traffic inspector for not stopping during a helmet check drive near Tiruchirappalli, police said.
The late last evening incident led to an outrage with locals staging a protest and clashing with police, following which inspector Kamaraj was arrested and suspended.
In Chennai, Chief Minister K Palaniswami today condoled the death of the woman, Usha, who was four months pregnant, and ordered a solatium of Rs 7 lakh to her kin besides assuring appropriate action after a probe.
Palaniswami said that on his orders, inspector Kamaraj was arrested immediately and lodged in prison.
The National Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognisance of the incident and sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government.
The incident also echoed in the Madras high court where social activist Traffic Ramaswamy made a mention and wanted the court to take suo motu (on its own) notice of it and proceed further.
However, first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose refused to initiate suo motu proceedings and asked Ramaswamy to file a petition.     

According to eyewitnesses, the inspector tried to stop the two-wheeler at Tuvakudi Toll plaza as Raja, riding the bike, for not wearing helmet.
However, as the man proceeded without stopping, Kamaraj took another two-wheeler and chased the couple and allegedly kicked it with his leg. The couple fell down near a roundabout on TiruchirappalliThanjavur highway. 
Usha, in her 30s, was rushed to a hospital but declared brought dead, police said. Her husband had been hospitalised with serious injuries.
An FIR was registered in connection withe incident, Inspector Kamaraj was produced before a court and remanded to judicial custody today.
He, however, denied kicking the two-wheeler.
In a press release, Palaniswami said he was grieved to learn that Usha died succumbing to severe injuries she sustained after falling off the two-wheeler. -- PTI
19:49   CBSE extends NEET application deadline till March 12
The Central Board of Secondary Education today extended the last date for submitting application for the national medical entrance exam-NEET till March 12.
The last date to register for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test was today.
The announcement by CBSE comes in wake of the Supreme Court's decision to allow alternative IDs for registration besides Aadhaar which was earlier made mandatory by the board.
"The deadline for application has been extended to March 12, 2018 till 5.30 pm. 

The candidates may submit online fees up to March 13 till 11.50 PM," a senior official said.
The exam for admission to medical colleges across the country will be held on May 6. -- PTI
Here is TDP MP YS Choudhary's resignation letter to PM Narendra Modi. 
19:47   CBI sends fresh summonses to Nirav Modi, Choksi
The CBI today sent fresh summonses to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi to join investigations as early as possible and made it clear to the duo that they were "obliged" to cooperate with the probe agency, officials said.
The agency had sent three summonses on February 19, 23 and 28 asking them to join the probe at the earliest. 

They were asked to appear on March 7.
Gitanjali Gems promoter Choksi, in his seven page letter which was released by his lawyer, has said it was impossible for him to return to India and join the investigation due to the suspension of his passport and ill-health.
In a detailed e-mail reply to the CBI's notice seeking his appearance, Choksi said his passport has been suspended by the authorities and he was undergoing medical treatment.
He said that on February 16, he received an e-mail from the passport office which stated that his travel document has been suspended due to the reason 'security threat to India'. However, the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, did not give him any explanation for suspension of his passport or as to how he was a security threat.
"I am also not in a position to travel due to my persisting health problem. I had a cardiac procedure which was conducted in the first week of February 2018 and there is still pending work to be done on the same. The entire procedure could not be completed on all veins due to danger to kidney and therefore I am not allowed to travel for at least a period of four to six months," he said.
A response on similar lines was received from Nirav Modi citing that he could not travel to India to join the probe.
In a terse reply, the CBI "directed" him to approach the Indian mission in the country where they were residing so that immediate arrangement can be made for their travel to India, officials said.
The agency has told him that they were "obliged to join the investigations", they said.
The CBI had earlier asked them to join the investigation related to the 2 billion USD scam pertaining to fraudulent issuance of the LoUs and Letters of Credit  from Brady House branch of PNB in Mumbai in their favour, they said. -- PTI
19:27   Resigned from posts, not from NDA: 2 TDP ministers
After submitting their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TDP leaders Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary addressed the press conference. 

Both Raju and Chowdary did not blame the PM for the current crisis in the relations between two parties.

Raju said, "Solutions are being attempted and we are trying to get a solution to the problem. We will support the NDA. We called on the PM, he is well aware of the issues. It was a cordial atmosphere."

"I don't think it's fair on our part to expect PM to deal with these issues. It's for the concerned ministries to take up, already considerable amount of time has lapsed," Chowdary said.

Chowdary said that they have only resigned from their posts but will continue to be a part of the NDA.

"We will continue to be a part of the NDA, but not take up any ministerial positions.I dont think there is anything wrong in that," he said.

On the possibility of BJP-YSRCP alliance, Chowdary said, "That is between those two parties, we have nothing to say on that, you can ask them."
Aviation Minister and TDP MP Ashok Gajapathi Raju's resignation letter to PM Narendra Modi.
18:43   UPDATE: TDP ministers submit resignations to PM
Two Telugu Desam Party ministers in the Union Cabinet -- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary -- handed over their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, the the official residence of the PM.

Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's announcement last night that his leaders would exit the cabinet came a few hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre can't offer special status to Andhra Pradesh, but would offer a special package with equivalent funding.

The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
18:27   Salute Naidu's courage, time for Nitish to speak up on spl status: RJD
The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar today challenged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take a cue from his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu and "speak up" on the issue of special status for the state.
Accusing Kumar of remaining silent on issues such as vandalism of statues and alleged insult to women leaders like Mayawati and Renuka Chowdhury, the opposition party has warned the government of launching an agitation, if the chief minister failed to raise his voice on the issue of special status.
"We salute Chandrababu Naidu for showing the courage to stick to the stand he took on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh. The effect of creation of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh is similar to the impact carving out of Jharkhand had on Bihar. But there appears to be a big difference between the chief ministers of the two states", RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha told reporters.
Notably, in the past, Kumar, too, had been demanding a special status for Bihar and even made it his poll plank in the state elections.
Jha, who blamed the chief minister of not being consistent between his words and deeds, said he is living in the "mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah".
"Ever since Kumar betrayed the mandate of 2015 assembly polls, ditched the RJD-Congress combine and joined the NDA, he has been living in mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah", Jha alleged.
Not ready to accept the chief minister's silence on the vital issue of "special status", Jha has warned the government of his party taking to the streets for the demand of special status.
"He has kept mum on vandalisation of statues of Periyar and Lenin. He claims to support women's empowerment, but when disparaging remarks were made against BSP supremo Mayawati some time ago and Rajya Sabha member Renuka Chowdhury recently, he did not utter a word in condemnation.
We moved an adjournment motion in the assembly on the issue today and we request the chief minister to raise his voice on this vital matter. If he fails to do so, the RJD will hit the streets," he said.
When asked a question on the decline of their alliance partner Congress on the national scene, Jha said it is a false assumption and argued that the Congress has been faring well than the BJP in all the by-elections.
"The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Meghalaya. It had the same status in Goa and Manipur where the BJP formed the government through underhand tactics," he added.
On the other hand, he questioned the BJP's position and said that the Telugu Desam Party was not the only alliance partner unhappy with their "arrogance".
He further said that a massive coalition of parties would fights against the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.
18:05   TDP ministers meet PM
Delhi: The two TDP MPs in the Union Cabinet, Ashok Gajapathi Raju (pictured) and YS Choudhary met PM Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg. The TDP will hold a press conference at 7 pm.

This comes after the PM today spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu this evening, a day after the TDP chief decided to pull out of the NDA government at the Centre.

In a late night development yesterday, the TDP had announced its decision to pull out its ministers from the NDA government.
BJP president Amit Shah reaches Agartala for Biplab Kumar Deb's oath-taking ceremony tomorrow.
17:17   Chouhan announces pension for single women above 50 years
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Women's Day today announced the 'Mukhyamantri Mahila Kosh' scheme under which women who aren't married and are above the age of 50 will be given pension.

Chouhan also used the occasion to assert that any person who misbehaves with women will be hanged in public.

"Why's there only 1 day for women? Is it possible to run a household, country or world without women for a day? No! In India we've been worshiping and respecting women since forever. Today, women hold so many important posts," he said. -- ANI
17:04   PM speaks to Chandrababu Naidu
Just in: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. The two TDP ministers in the Union Cabinet to meet PM Narendra Modi at 6 pm today. They were directed yesterday by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to submit their resignations.

Naidu's announcement last night that his leaders would exit the Union Cabinet came a few hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre can't offer special status to Andhra Pradesh, but would offer a special package with equivalent funding.

File pic.
16:58   Will present a new Congress party: Rahul in Singapore
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said his party is a "clean slate " now and he will present a new Congress which envisions the values that Indians are born with.

While addressing students Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore, Gandhi said: "We faced a storm in 2012. The system was destabilised between 2012 and 2014, and we saw the consequences. We have a clean slate now, and a new opportunity."

The Congress president said he would present a "new Congress Party that envisions the values you were born with".

"We see society as a system that has to be kept in balance. The BJP on the other hand is less concerned about peace and tranquility. We see very serious dangers of polarising society and risks arising from them," he said.

The Congress President also met Indian-origin CEOs of various companies in Singapore and discussed issues such as jobs, investments, and the prevalent economic condition in India.

"We are seeing the biggest migration of rural people in India. We have challenges. Broadly our view is we want a peaceful transition that carries everybody together," Congress twitter handle quoted Gandhi as saying.Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Singapore and Malaysia from March 8 to 10. -- ANI

Image: Rahul Gandhi met the Indian community, business leaders and members of the Indian Overseas Congress in Singapore today. Pic courtesy: @officeOfRG
16:51   Govt launches biodegradable sanitary napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad
The government today launched biodegradable sanitary napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad, which will be available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras.
The sanitary napkins will be available in a pack of four pads for Rs 10 across over 3,200 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras by May 28, 2018, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar said today.
On the eve of Women's Day, the department of pharmaceuticals under the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers is introducing sanitary napkins under the name 'Suvidha', he added.
At a time when average market price of four sanitary napkins is around Rs 32, the government has launched these oxo-biodegradable pads priced at Rs 10 for four pads for health security of women, specially for those who are under privileged and are in rural areas, Kumar said.
While other sanitary napkins available in markets are non-biodegradable, these are biodegradable, he added.
The launch is in line with the aim of the Prime Minister to make quality drugs available at affordable prices to common people, Kumar said.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 per cent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said in a statement. -- PTI
16:29   How am I a security threat, Mehul Choksi asks CBI
Gitanjali Gems promoter and PNB fraud prime accused Mehul Choksi on Thursday wrote a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation expressing his inability to join the probe in the multi-crore scam.

Choksi cited 'persisting health problem' due to a 'cardiac procedure which was conducted in the first week of February 2018' to say that he is unable to travel. He however, has not revealed about his current location. Choksi also said that he has 'pending work' to complete.

Choksi took the opportunity to fire salvo on officials for suspending his passport. "I further wish to point out that the RPO Mumbai has not given me any explanation as to why my Passport has been suspended and as to how I am a security threat to India," he said in the letter. 
16:04   A puppet in torment
"When you've decided to dig in, it might be advisable to ensure you don't burrow so deep that scrambling out is no longer an option. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, is darting, helplessly but consciously, towards making a political grave of her power dugout. Her serial capitulations to the provincial shenanigans and the national worldview of her chosen partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, are as astonishing as they are unsurprising."

Sankarshan Thakur on the Shakespearean tragedy of Kashmir politics. Read the column here.
Hadiya's father Asokan says he will consider moving a review petition against the Supreme Court order restoring her marriage.
15:40   On Women's Day, AP govt vows to halve price of pads
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today promised that sanitary pads would soon be available at half price.

Addressing the state assembly on the occasion of International Women's Day, Naidu said his government has introduced a mechanism to check the health of pregnant women and newborn babies.

"We have brought a mechanism to check the health of pregnant women and newborn babies. We are implementing many schemes for their health and get rid of malnutrition.We have also decided to supply sanitary pads at half the price. Soon the policy will be brought into implementation," he said.

"Trends will change. Days will come when grooms have to give dowry to brides," he added.

Image: Akshay Kumar, who starred in the film, PadMan, holds up a sanitary napkin to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene.
15:17   Ensure security of statues of icons in UP: CM to Police
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today directed district police chiefs to ensure security of statues of known figures, following Dalit icon B R Ambedkar's statue being vandalised in Meerut.

The chief minister's directions comes amid a spate of incidents targeting statues and busts of icons in the country. "Maintaining law and order is the priority of the state and the government will take strict action against those involved in vitiating it. District police chiefs should remain alert and ensure security of statues of icons," he said. -- PTI
14:43   Kerala love jihad: SC restores Hadiya's marriage
In a major win for Hadiya and her husband Shafin Jahan, the Supreme Court, on Thursday, set aside the May 2017 Kerala High Court order annulling their marriage. The SC has consistently in the last few hearings maintained that Hadiya, a 26-year-old, has the right to make her own choice.

The SC has now struck down the Kerala HC's order and observed that the HC should not have annulled the marriage in a habeas corpus petition since both were consenting adults.

The court said Hadiya is now free to be with her husband and is not restricted to the hostel where she is now staying. "She is now at liberty to pursue her endeavors," the court said.

The court however said the National Investigation Agency probe will continue into the accusations of 'love jihad', but not of this particular marriage. The SC said that its decision is based on Hadiya's statement that she converted to Islam out of her own free will.

The SC read out the operative part of the judgement a little after 2pm, after hearing the case in the first part of the day.

Readwhy Hadiya's father is opposed to her marriage in this interview: 'Don't want more Akhilas to become Hadiyas'
14:21   Breaking barriers
"With the Tripura outcome, many stereotypes have been broken. First, it is grossly inaccurate to attribute the BJP victory to any explicit anti-Muslim propaganda. The Bengalis of Tripura are predominantly from refugee families from erstwhile East Pakistan and Bangladesh. But Tripura, unlike West Bengal and Assam, doesn't have any significant Muslim population. If there was any hate politics at work, it was the accumulated hatred against the local tyranny of the Left - a phenomenon that Mamata Banerjee exploited in West Bengal. Hindu nationalism was not a factor in BJP's Tripura victory, though its existence in the larger BJP ecosystem didn't prove a deterrent either."

Swapan Dasgupta on the Tripura elections and what the vote signifies.
Do read
14:16   Naidu urges BJP ministers to not resign from cabinet
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu on Thursday requested BJP leaders to not quit from the state cabinet.

Addressing the state assembly, Naidu thanked State Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas and State Endowment Minister Pydikondala Manikyala Rao, saying both brought considerable reforms to their respective departments.

"Our ministers in the central cabinet and the BJP ministers in our cabinet have resigned. However, these ministers worked good in the state. They brought considerable reforms in their departments. I thank them for their services," said Naidu.

"For the people of the state, we all must stand. I don't ask you to change your ideological stand. But to think of the state and please work for welfare of the state. Both of them have been efficient in their work as ministers. I request them to continue work for the welfare of the state," he added. -- ANI
14:10   That's the Karnataka state flag
Karnataka govt approves state flag. It will be sent to central govt for approval and then announced as the state flag.
14:00   Soldier commits suicide at Army camp in J-K
A 36-year-old soldier allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, the second incident in the last two days.

Naik Shankar Singh, a resident of Rajasthan, shot himself with his service rifle at an Army camp in the district's Warnov area, a police official said.  Singh, who was posted with the 18 Rashtriya Rifles, died on the spot, the officer said. 

The reason for him taking the extreme step was not known immediately. Earlier in Kupwara's Langate area, Sepoy Birender Sinha, who was posted with the 30 Rashtriya Rifles, shot himself dead with his service rifle yesterday. -- PTI
13:53   RBI slaps SBI with monetary penalty
The Reserve Bank of India on March 1, imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 40 lakh on SBI for non-compliance of its directions on detection and impounding of counterfeit notes.

The central bank sent a notification, which stated that the action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance found at two of the bank's currency chests.

"This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A (1) (c) read with Section 46(4) (i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949," it said.

The regulator had carried out an inspection of currency chests at two branches of the country's largest lender and noticed certain violation, following which a show cause notice was issued in the first week of January.

The RBI said the penalty seemed warranted and substantiated considering the bank's reply and oral submissions.It clarified that penal action is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Earlier this week, the RBI had imposed monetary penalties on Axis Bank (Rs 30 million) for violation of non-performing asset classification norms and Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 20 million) for not complying with the KYC regulations. - ANI
13:38   In a first Nagaland CM sworn in at public ground
Update: Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party leader Neiphiu Rio took oath as the Chief Minister of Nagaland, not at the Raj Bhavan as reported earlier, but at the Kohima Local Ground.

Governor P B Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Rio and his 11 Council of Ministers.

This is the first time that the chief minister and council of ministers of a newly-elected government in Nagaland took oath in full public view.

The venue holds significance as the announcement of Nagaland's statehood on December 01, 1963 was made from here by the then president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

The swearing-in ceremonies in Nagaland have so far been high-profile shows at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan, with VVIPs, VIPs and top bureaucrats in attendance.
12:58   SC asks Karti to move HC for interim relief
The Supreme Court asks Karti Chidambaram to approach the Delhi High Court for interim relief in the INX Media money laundering case. SC asks Karti to move Delhi HC today itself for interim relief and requests the acting chief justice to allocate the matter to the appropriate bench. The court allows Karti to withdraw his plea related to money laundering case.
12:50   SC order at 2pm over annulment of Hadiya's marriage by HC
The Supreme Court said today that it will pass a short order at 2 pm over Kerala High Court's annulment of marriage of Hadiya, an alleged victim of 'love jihad'.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud put up the matter for order after lunch on the plea filed by a man, who claimed to be the woman's husband, challenging a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with her.

Earlier this week, the father of the woman, who is alleged to be a victim of love jihad, claimed before the apex court that his efforts prevented his daughter from being transported to "extremist-controlled territories" of Syria to be used as a "sex slave or a human bomb".

In a fresh affidavit, K M Asokan said that his daughter Hadiya was a "vulnerable adult" and she "abjectly surrendered herself to complete strangers who adopted her into their fold, offering her shelter and protection and further imparted religious indoctrination in an isolated environment".

He was responding to an affidavit filed by his daughter, who had earlier told the apex court that she had willingly converted to Islam and wanted to remain a Muslim. -- PTI
12:45   Neiphiu Rio sworn in as Nagaland CM
Senior NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio was sworn-in as the new chief minister of Nagaland by Governor P B Acharya at the Raj Bhavan in Kohima.

Acharya, in a letter to Rio, asked him to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before March 16.

The governor said he had received letters of support in Rio's favour from 12 legislators of the BJP, one letter from the JD(U) and another from an Independent MLA, besides the 18 legislatures of the NDPP. The new ministry will also be sworn in today.
12:38   A little birdie tells us that a big babu is joining India Inc
Word is that a recently retired babu is headed for Corporate India.

One of the nation's oldest business establishments has successfully wooed the mandarin to its portals.

Given his background in international realpolitik and his beautiful mind, he is certainly a big catch for the business group eager to leave the recent past behind and embark on a new road ahead.

The challenges will be a-plenty for this most unusual civil servant and he will probably relish dealing with international operators of a different kind than he has been used to.

And no GoI wages for his expertise, we hear: He will be paid an annual salary of Rs 4 crore, so a not-so-little bird tells us.
12:24   A meeting of chiefs
Manipur CM N Biren Singh, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma at the oath ceremony of Nagaland CM-designate Neiphiu Rio in Kohima.
12:01   How PM, Jaitley pushed TDP to exit NDA
Speaking to the Andhra Pradesh assembly this morning, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said two ministers of his Telugu Desam Party have quit the central government today.

The ties between allies TDP and the ruling BJP soured after Naidu failed to secure a special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

"Our ministers in central cabinet and BJP ministers in our cabinet have resigned. However, these ministers worked good in the state. They brought considerable reforms in their departments. I thank them for their services," Naidu told the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

"What Arun Jaitley spoke yesterday is not good. You are holding the hand of the North Eastern states but not Andhra Pradesh's hand. You are giving industrial incentives to them, not to Andhra Pradesh. Why this discrimination?"

On Wednesday evening, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre was happy to give Andhra Pradesh funds equivalent to what a special category state received, but giving it "special category status" as demanded by Naidu was not possible as the 14th Finance Commission had scrapped the scheme for all but north-eastern and three hill states. He said he felt hurt and angered at the discrimination.

Arriving at his decision to quit the NDA, Naidu said yesterday that he had tried to speak to PM Modi on the phone as a courtesy to inform him about the decision to pull out of the government, but the prime minister did not come on line, NDTV reported.
11:25   Amelia Earhart's bones likely found
Scientists have most likely found the bones of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart -- the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean who mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying over the Pacific. Bone measurement analysis indicates that the remains found on a remote island in the South Pacific were likely those of Earhart, researchers said. Richard Jantz, professor at University of Tennessee in the US re-examined seven bone measurements conducted in 1940 by physician D W Hoodless. Hoodless had concluded that the bones belonged to a man.

Using several modern quantitative techniques - including Fordisc, a computer programme for estimating sex, ancestry, and stature from skeletal measurements - Jantz found that Hoodless had incorrectly determined the sex of the remains.

The study, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology, showed that the bones have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 per cent of individuals in a large reference sample.

Jantz also compared the bone lengths with Earhart's. Her humerus and radius lengths were obtained from a photograph with a scalable object. Her tibia length was estimated from measurements of her clothing in the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at Purdue University.

A historic seamstress took the measurements, which included the inseam length and waist circumference of Earhart's trousers. Jantz concluded that "until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers." "Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century," according to the study. -- PTI
11:19   China accused of detaining Muslim women married to Pakistani men
China has allegedly detained dozens of Chinese Muslim women in its restive Xinjiang province, located in the north-western part of the country, for marrying Pakistani men belonging to Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

This issue was addressed in a unanimously passed resolution of the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly, which was disclosed by the Pakistani lawmakers on Sunday.

According to the resolution passed, it has called the Pakistan government to take urgent steps to secure the release of over 50 Chinese wives, who according to them, was taken into custody last year when they were in their native towns of the Xinjiang province visiting their relatives, the Voice of America reported. -- ANI
11:15   Two BJP ministers in AP govt. resign
Two BJP ministers in the Andhra Pradesh government submitted their resignation in the Chief Ministers office on Thursday, amid the deteriorating relations between Telugu Desam Party and the BJP.

The ministers, who have submitted their resignation, are State Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas and State endowment minister Pydikondala Manikyala Rao in N Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet. The BJP MLAs were given ministerial berths as coalition partner.

Earlier, BJP leader PVN Madhav categorically stated, "Our ministers will resign from Telugu Desam Party Cabinet".

"We have decided that our ministers will resign from TDP Cabinet. We will be going to the people and telling them all the things Centre has done for the state. Since independence till date, no state has received as many favours as that were given to Andhra Pradesh," Madhav told ANI.

"We consider Andhra as a special state and has provided it with all development that was needed to be done in all factors. Also, the moment our minister comes out from the cabinet we will break the news to all," he added.

Madhav further noted that injustice was not done to the state by Centre, but by other things related.This statement came hours after Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asked the TDP ministers to resign from the Union Cabinet. -- ANI
11:03   Another Ambedkar bust desecrated
Tamil Nadu: Unidentified miscreants poured paint on the bust of Dr BR Ambedkar in Tiruvottiyur, Chennai last night. This is the second Ambedkar bust to be desecrated in the last couple of days.

On Tuesday night, a statue of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar was vandalised and later replaced in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.

10:59   You are in good hands
Lucknow: Indian Railway deploys all women staff on Allahabad Intercity Express on the occasion of International Womens Day. The train also has an assistant women driver.
10:34   Gandhi statue in Kerala vandalised
In keeping with the flavour of the season, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was damaged by unknown persons in the Thaliparamba area of Kannur. The spectacles of the statue was damaged. Early reports say only one man was responsible for the desecration.

This is the fifth statue of a political figure to be damaged since the BJP won the elections in Tripura on Saturday.

Two days after the Tripura results, on Monday, communist icon Vladimir Lenin's statue was brought down at Belonia town, headquarters of South Tripura district. The nearly 11-ft tall fibreglass statue, which stood on a pedestal at College Square, was brought down with the help of a bulldozer.

On Tuesday night, a statue of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar was vandalised and later replaced in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.

On Wednesday, a statue of social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement EV Ramasamy 'Periyar' was vandalised in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district.

The same day, a bust of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in south Kolkata by seven persons, including a woman, allegedly belonging to a left-wing group.

Image: The Gandhi statue in Kerala that was vandalised last night. The spectacles of the statue hang from the ear. Pic: ANI
10:23   Big blow to D-Gang: Nikam
Ujjwal Nikam, Senior Advocate on Dawood Ibrahim's aide Farooq Takla's deportation: "This is a huge success. He was involved in 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts the links of which can be traced back to Dubai. This is a big-blow to D-Gang." 
10:19   Dawood aide and '93 blasts accused deported to India
India's most wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's key aide and an accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, Farooq Takla, was brought back to Mumbai on Thursday after he was deported from the UAE.

As per reports, an Air India flight no. AI 996 carrying Takla landed in Mumbai earlier this morning.

Takla, is being questioned by the CBI and will be produced in Mumbai's Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court later in the day.

He fled from India after 1993 Mumbai blasts, following which a Red Corner Notice was issued against him in 1995.

Apart from this, Takla also faces criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and several other charges.At least 27 other accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, continue to elude and are declared as absconders. -- ANI
10:15   Rahul discusses jobs, economy in Singapore
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met Indian-origin CEOs of various companies in Singapore and discussed issues such as jobs, investments, and the prevalent economic condition in India.

"We are seeing the biggest migration of rural people in India. We have challenges. Broadly our view is we want a peaceful transition that carries everybody together," Congress twitter handle quoted Gandhi as saying.

The Congress President will also address Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore, another tweet said.Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Singapore and Malaysia from March 8 to 10. -- ANI
09:47   'Karnataka Lokayukta wrote 20 letters for more security'
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Santosh Hegde on Wednesday called the attack on Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty as "serious lapse of security" and said the institution had written 20 letters, demanding more security, to the government, which were not acknowledged.

Yesterday, the state's Lokayukta was stabbed inside his office premises in Bengaluru by an alleged contractor from Tumakuru over complaints regarding some tenders.

"Twenty letters were written by Lokayukta institution which weren't acknowledged. I hope the government wakes up soon," said Justice Santosh Hegde.

The judge is out of danger now and undergoing treatment at the Mallaya Hospital.

Anguished by the incident, Justice Hegde also questioned the government's attitude towards the institution of Lokayukta.

"I am more concerned about the attitude of the government towards Lokayukta institution. Metal detectors were not working since many years," Justice Hegde further said. The accused was soon arrested after the attack.

Image: Karnataka Lokayukta PV Shetty in hospital
09:32   Can be stubborn, but not violent: Kejriwal breaks silence on chief secy row
In his first direct comment on the alleged attack on chief secretary Anshu Prakash, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he can be stubborn but not violent since only cowards resort to violence. 

In a bid to persuade government employees to end the stalemate between the AAP government and the bureaucracy, a meeting was held at the CMs residence where Kejriwal spoke to a group of employees belonging to the Delhi Administration Subordinate Service and some unions.

We will never indulge in violence, that too with our own people. We will argue and fight but we will not indulge in violence, said Kejriwal.

The government claimed the meeting was a precursor to a thaw in the cold war on since February 20. But that remains a distant possibility with silent protests being held daily by bureaucrats and government employees.

In fact, within hours of the meeting, the president of Delhi Government Employees Welfare Association, Dayanand Singh, who was involved in the latest initiative, was suspended from his post. 

The general secretary of the association, Deepak Bhardwaj, said that the decision was taken at an emergency meeting since Singh had breached the trust of the employees by arbitrarily attending the meeting with the political executive against the decision of the association.
JUST IN: Dawood Ibrahim's aide Farooq Takla brought to Mumbai after being deported from Dubai. He will be produced before TADA court in Mumbai. He had fled from India after 1993 blasts and is being questioned by CBI. A Red Corner Notice was issued against him in 1995.
08:56   Rio to take oath as Nagaland CM today; Rajnath, Amit Shah to attend
The new Nagaland government headed by NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio is set to take oath at a public function in Kohima today. Governor P B Acharya would administer the oath of office and secrecy to Rio and the 11 ministers at the main rostrum of the ground, in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, in alliance with the BJP, will take over the reins of the north-eastern state with the support of 32 MLAs. The alliance has chosen senior NDPP leader Rio as the chief minister. 

Rio will be assuming the charge of Nagaland chief minister for the fourth time. He had served his three previous terms between 2003 and May 2014. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was reportedly requested to grace the swearing-in ceremony as this was the first time the BJP had won 12 seats in the state, had expressed his inability to attend it, a source in the Raj Bhavan said.
08:38   On Women's Day, PM Modi on the woman who inspired him
On International Women's Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to talk about a 106-year-old woman who had inspired him, and urged others to "write about some women who inspire you."

Kunwar Bai, a resident of Chhattisgarh, sold her goats - her sole source of livelihood - to build a toilet in her village.

The toilet, the first in the village, was built in 15 days and cost Rs 22,000.

"Her contribution towards a Swachh Bharat can never be forgotten. I am deeply inspired by her noble gesture," shared PM Modi.

"I will always cherish the time when I had the opportunity to seek Kunwar Bai's blessings during one of my visits to Chhattisgarh," he added. 

Kunwar Bai passed away earlier this year, but "lives on in the hearts and minds of all those who are passionate towards fulfilling Bapu's dream of a clean India."
08:07   Balkrishna Doshi wins Pritzker Prize, the 'Nobel for architecture'
Balkrishna Doshi has become the first Indian architect to win the Pritzker Prize in its four-decade history. Regarded as the profession's equivalent to the Nobel Prize, the award went to Doshi in recognition of a career spanning almost 70 years, it was announced today.

Considered one of the Indian subcontinent's preeminent living architects, Doshi is known for designing low-cost housing and public institutions. Among his most acclaimed projects are Tagore Memorial Hall in Ahmedabad and the Aranya Low Cost Housing development, a collection of more than 6,500 residences in the city of Indore.

The architect and urban planner described the decision as "a great surprise", but insisted on putting the achievement in the context of India's urban and economic development.

"I think it is very, very significant that this award has come to India -- of course to me, but to India," he said. "The government, officials, those who take decisions, cities -- everyone will start thinking that there is something called 'good architecture' (and that) lasting things can happen. (Only) then can we start talking about urbanization and urban design."

Born in Pune, around 100 miles from Mumbai, Doshi worked under Le Corbusier in Paris in the early 1950s. He returned to India to oversee the celebrated French-Swiss architect's projects in both Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, staying in the latter city to establish his own practice, Vastu Shilpa Consultants, in 1956.

Doshi's best-known public buildings include Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board in Jabalpur, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and Ahmedabad's striking School of Architecture, which he served as founding director.

Image: Balkrishna Doshi with Charles Correa, who died on June 16, 2015. 
07:50   Tried to reach out to PM Modi, he was unavailable: Chandrababu Naidu
Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party has decided to pull out of the Narendra Modi government after the centre ruled out Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, a key demand of the TDP. 

Announcing that he was withdrawing both his ministers from the central government, Naidu said on Wednesday evening that his party had joined the centre hoping that justice will be done to Andhra Pradesh. 

The chief minister said he tried to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone as a courtesy to inform him about the decision to pull out of the NDA government. It is my responsibility as a coalition partner to inform the prime minister about our party decision. My OSD spoke to his OSD but the prime minister did not come on line, he said.

Naidu hoped the Centre would at least now respect the sentiments of people of Andhra Pradesh.

The decision to pull our of the Centre came barely hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a press conference in New Delhi this evening that funds equivalent to what a special category state receives would be extended to Andhra Pradesh, but drew a line saying politics cannot increase the quantum of money.
00:19   Pak court restrains govt from arresting Hafiz Saeed
A Pakistani court on Wednesday extended a stay against the 'possible arrest' of the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed till April 4.

Ahead of the visit of the United Nations Security Council monitoring team in Lahore, the Lahore high court on January 24 had restrained the federal government from arresting Saeed on his petition.

On January 23, Saeed had moved the court seeking protection from his possible arrest by the federal and the state governments, under the alleged pressure from the United States and India.

Lahore HC Judge Ameenuddin Khanon Wednesday  held the hearing and further extended the stay against Saeed's 'possible arrest' after the arguments of his counsel.

Saeed's counsel Advocate A K Dogar said the government had planned to arrest Saeed on the pressure of the US and India as it had already taken over the movable and immovable assets of the JuD and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and frozen their bank accounts on the international pressure.

He said the Punjab government had detained Saeed for 10 months.

However, a judicial review board comprising judges of the high court ordered his release in November last.

"Hafiz Saeed is a founder/chairman of JuD and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) and also established 142 schools and three universities. For the last many years he has been engaged in public welfare activities across the country," Dogar said.

"All actions the (Pakistani) government has taken against his client so far footprints of the US and Indian lobby are visible on them. The Indian lobby for the last many years have been harbouring an unfounded assumption that Hafiz Saeed was somehow involved in the Mumbai attacks," he added.  -- PTI